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Portobello Road

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Portobello Road (photographed)

  • Date:

    1974 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Phillips, Charlie , born 1944 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print

  • Credit Line:

    Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

  • Museum number:

    E.260-2011

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case SP, shelf 4

Photographer Charlie Phillips moved to London from Jamaica in 1956 and began to document life in his local community. His photographs of people and places associated with Notting Hill depict both significant and everyday moments in the area’s history. Displays of black heritage became commonplace in Notting Hill’s multicultural community by the 1970s. Alongside annual celebrations of Caribbean culture in events like the Notting Hill Carnival, a sense of black pride was also increasingly evident in clothing styles, such as the African head wrap worn by the woman in the centre of this photograph.

The V&A acquired ten photographs by Charlie Phillips 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.

Physical description

A black and white photograph of a crowd of people towards the corner of a street. In the central foreground there is a black woman with her hair bound in cloth wearing sunglasses, a long skirt and wedge shoes, carrying a handbag. She is stood talking to a man who has his back turned holding a camera and a roll of paper under his arm.

Place of Origin

Portobello Road (photographed)

Date

1974 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Phillips, Charlie , born 1944 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

Height: 192 mm image size, Width: 192 mm Image size, Height: 204 mm paper size, Width: 255 mm Paper size

Object history note

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.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Charlie Phillips, 'Portobello Road', gelatin silver print, London, 1974

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Roots to Reckoning; the photography of Armet Francis, Neil Kenlock and Charlie Phillips (London : Seed Publications, 2005)
Roots to Reckoning; the photography of Armet Francis, Neil Kenlock and Charlie Phillips

Labels and date

Text label for the exhibition, 'Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s-1990s
16 February – 24 May 2015

Charlie Phillips (born 1944)
Portobello Road, 1974
Westbourne Park Tube Station, 1967
Notting Hill Couple, 1967
The Pisshouse Pub, 1969
Big Maybelle, Cue Club, 1966
Cue Club Regulars, 1966

Phillips moved from Jamaica to Notting Hill in 1956.
This area of London had a large Caribbean community
following mass migration after the Second World War.
Phillips documented local life using a Kodak Brownie
camera that he had been given by an African-American
serviceman. His photographs provide a visual record of the
influence of the growing black population on this part of
London during the 1960s and ’70s.

Gelatin silver prints
Museum nos. E.260, 261, 264, 266 to 268-2011 [16/02/2015-24/05/2015]

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Gelatin silver process; Photography

Subjects depicted

Sunglasses; Crowds; Woman

Categories

Black History; Fashion; African Diaspora; Fashion; Women's clothes

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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