On Air Late Lunch Christy Dehaven & Howard Caine | 1:00pm - 3:00pm

"He just sought to try and find a kind of truth that he could reveal"


Sunday, October 18th, 2020 - 52 minutes

This week, world-renowned photographer Chris Killip passed away aged 74.

Born and raised on the Isle of Man, Killip has been hailed as being among the influential generation of British documentary photographers of the 1970s.

He also lectured at Harvard University as Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies, from 1991-2017.

In this programme, we hear some tributes to him, including from his brother.

We also listen back to a radio appearance from 8 May 2016, where he appeared on 'Sunday Opinion' with the late Roger Watterson after the launch of an exhibition of Killip's work at the Manx Museum - 'Isle of Man Revisited'.


Born in Douglas in the Isle of Man in 1946, he left school at age 16 and joined the only four star hotel on the Island as a trainee hotel manager. In June 1964 he decided to pursue photography full-time and became a beach photographer in order to earn enough money to leave the Isle of Man.

In October 1964 he was hired as an assistant to the leading London advertising photographer, Adrian Flowers. In 1969, after seeing his very first exhibition of photography, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he decided to return to photograph in the Isle of Man. He worked in his father's pub (The Bowling Green Hotel) at night, returning to London on occasion to print his work.

In 1972 he received one of the commissions from The Arts Council of Great Britain to photograph Huddersfield and Bury St Edmunds for the exhibition Two Views. In 1975 he moved to live in Newcastle upon Tyne on a two-year fellowship as the Northern Arts Photography Fellow. He was a founder member, and exhibition curator and advisor of Side Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, as well as the director, from 1977-79. He continued to live in Newcastle and photographed throughout the North East of England.

In 1989 he was commissioned by Pirelli UK to photograph the workforce at their tire factory in Burton on Trent.

In 1989 he received the Henri Cartier Bresson Award and was invited in 1991 as a Visiting Lecturer, to the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, Boston USA. In 1994 he was made a tenured professor and was department chair from 1994-98. He retired from Harvard University in 2017.

A retrospective exhibition of his work took place at the Folkwang Museum, Essen, then travelled to LE BAL, Paris, and on to the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid. His work is represented in the exhibition Ideas of the North at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and his exhibition The Last Ships was held at the Laing Gallery in Newcastle.