Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case MB2A, Shelf DR112

Three Kettles, Hackney

Photograph
1973 (photographed), 2010 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Dennis Morris moved to Britain from Jamaica in the early 1960s and began taking photographs from the age of eight. His personal photographs of British Caribbean community life in Hackney came to form the series Growing Up Black.

Morris depicted the harsh reality faced by many post-war Caribbean migrants who were forced to live in sub-standard tenement housing. He was part of this community, living in one room shared with his mother when arriving in England. Although a sense of community developed in the crowded, shared housing blocks, the living conditions were poor. Preparing meals became a communal task, in which tenants relied on paraffin heaters to do most of the cooking. Morris has since explained the way in which ‘many rooms had a series of paraffin heaters,’ as ‘one heater would be for heating, the others to boil water, etc.’ Though not all tenants had the luxury of more than one.

The V&A acquired ten photographs by Dennis Morris as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleGrowing Up Black (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief Description
Photograph by Dennis Morris, 'Three Kettles, Hackney', from the series Growing Up Black, gelatin silver print, London, 1973, printed 2010
Physical Description
Black and white photograph of three people sat in a small room containing a cot, a bed, a bedside table and three kettles; one of which rests on a paraffin heater. A woman and a young girl are sat on the bed to the right of the frame. A man is seated beside the cot on the left-hand side looking directly out of the frame. The room is decorated with patterned wallpaper and a floral curtain.
Dimensions
  • Image size height: 68.5cm
  • Image size width: 45.5cm
  • Paper size height: 83.8cm
  • Paper size width: 66.0cm
  • Mount size height: 92.0mm
  • Mount size width: 68.0cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
(signed and titled on the reverse)
Credit line
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Object history
The V&A acquired this photograph as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
Dennis Morris moved to Britain from Jamaica in the early 1960s and began taking photographs from the age of eight. His personal photographs of British Caribbean community life in Hackney came to form the series Growing Up Black.



Morris depicted the harsh reality faced by many post-war Caribbean migrants who were forced to live in sub-standard tenement housing. He was part of this community, living in one room shared with his mother when arriving in England. Although a sense of community developed in the crowded, shared housing blocks, the living conditions were poor. Preparing meals became a communal task, in which tenants relied on paraffin heaters to do most of the cooking. Morris has since explained the way in which ‘many rooms had a series of paraffin heaters,’ as ‘one heater would be for heating, the others to boil water, etc.’ Though not all tenants had the luxury of more than one.



The V&A acquired ten photographs by Dennis Morris as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Morris, D. Growing Up Black (London: Autograph ABP, 2012), illustrated
Collection
Accession Number
E.1486-2010

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record createdFebruary 1, 2011
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