“London, in the late 70’s, was the perfect place for someone like myself, who had devoured the counter-culture that erupted in the America of the 60’s and early 70’s. London presented a creative ground to play in, empty buildings to live in and an abundance of unused warehouse spaces allowed me to shoot very large, and sometimes complicated, sets. As long as I didn’t mind spending most of my fee on a shoot, I could achieve almost anything… and often did.
I studied at London College of Printing and unlike most students who had seemingly taken photographs all their lives, I just thought about pictures: the graphical element, their core values and the science behind the art.
After graduating and during my apprenticeship as a photographers assistant, I got my first commissions from Rusty Egan and Steve Strange for their band Visage, hat designer Stephen Jones for his newly opened first shop and Al McDowell who had created his record cover design company, Rocking Russians.
From then on everything just got bigger and bigger: The Blitz, New Romantics, Adam and the Ants, Soft Cell, Eurythmics. The 1980’s was a feverish decade in which many experimenters in music, fashion and style became household names, and I was part of it. Even being mentioned in Mari Wilson’s song “Just What I Always Wanted” (which I found a bit uncomfortable - being old-school I have never liked promoting myself).
I had many successes shooting music photography, even though I had been forewarned that it would not pay, and nor did it. But the chance to work with inspired creators, both behind and in front of the camera, meant that I was able to keep building a set of extraordinary iconographic images, a few of which I present in my first solo show.
All photographic prints have been made by Brian Dowling, of BDi Labs, on Fuji Flex SuperGloss archive paper, which has a life of 99 years. Brian is the photographic printer who created CROSS-PROCESS, thereby changing both the colour palette and way of printing colour pictures and I am very pleased he has taken part in creating the richly coloured images for this exhibition.”
Peter Ashworth - 2018
Exhibition open 12-4pm, Tuesday - Sunday until 8th July
The Gallery Liverpool
41 Stanhope Street
Curated by Duovision - Martin Green and James Lawler