The backdrop of giant ships and industrial cranes that dominate Wallsend and South Shields provided a constant source of fascination for Photographer, Chris Killip. In 1975, he photographed the Tyne Pride, the largest ship ever built on the river, but it was also the last.
Killip’s photographs document the lives of working people and their resilience of spirit while simultaneously portraying the steady decline of industry in Britain. Several photographs capture the energy of the mid-70s, with workers leaving the shipyard after a shift. The University of Cambridge hired Chris Killip in 1991 to teach photography in the Visual Studies Program at Harvard University after he moved to the North East in 1975 as the Northern Arts Photography Fellow. This set of exhibition prints was given to the Laing in honor of the Tyneside shipyard workers.
Even then, I had a sense that all this was not going to last; I had no idea how soon it would all be gone.