Anna Fox: Cockroach Diary & other stories
An exploration of the ordinary and the bizarre in British life, spanning 25 years.
Cockroach Diary & other stories brings together works spanning twenty-five years that convey a compelling sense of both the ordinary and the bizarre in British life. This major exhibition is the first survey show by Anna Fox, one of the most significant photographers to emerge from the new wave of British colour documentary of the 1980s.
An infestation at her home in North London inspired the darkly comic Cockroach Diary, which combines queasy photographic evidence with frustrated diary entries: ‘3rd September 1996: splattered roach with orange shoe on bathroom wall – very drunk’. Country Girls, a collaboration with Alison Goldfrapp, was inspired by shared experiences of growing up as young women in ‘suffocating’ rural southern England in the 1970s, and depicts the singer collapsed under bushes or amongst bluebells.
Pictures of Linda is a 22-year long collaboration with punk singer Linda Lunus from local band Fashionable Living Death, and records her dressing-up sessions through photography and video. Fox says ‘ Linda became obsessed with having a document of herself, as she appeared in many different guises’. The Village, a deeply satirical narrative, depicts family weddings, fetes and women’s domestic lives in rural West Sussex. In a statement that could equally apply to her work in general, Fox explains, “I wanted to spend time investigating the realities (which I felt were hidden) lying behind the façade of the typical English picture postcard village’.
This extensive show also includes the works 41 Hewitt Road; My Mother’s Cupboards and My Father’s words; Back to the Village; and Notes From Home.
Cockroach Diary & other stories is an Impressions Gallery touring exhibition curated by Anne McNeill.
Anna Fox (born 1961) has been working in photography and video for over thirty years. Influenced by the British documentary tradition and US ‘New Colourists’ her first work Workstations (published by and exhibited first at Camerawork, London 1988) observed, with a critical eye, London office culture in the mid Thatcher years. Later work documenting weekend wargames, Friendly Fire, was exhibited in the exhibition Warworks at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Netherlands Foto Institute and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.
Her solo shows have been seen at The Photographer’s Gallery, London, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Shanghai Center of Photography and her work has been included in numerous international group shows including Through the Looking Glass (Barbican Art Gallery), Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool and the Avant-garde (Tate Liverpool) How We Are: Photographing Britain (Tate Britain) and Home Sweet Home at rencontres de la Photographie, Arles. Anna Fox is Professor of Photography at University for the Creative Arts at Farnham and leads the Fast Forward Women in Photography research project
Our visitors say...
“This was amazing, intensely funny, emotional and real above all.”
“The village pictures felt so real. I really felt what I could see, rather than just looking at a picture.”
“Loved it – very funny”
Meet the Artist: Anna Fox
Produced by Impressions Gallery
From our Bookshop
Anna Fox: Photographs 1983-2007 by Val Williams, published by Photoworks, in association with Impressions Gallery, is available to buy from our Shop, priced £24.99Buy now