Douglas-born photographer Chris Killip’s capture of a Sunday Stroll in Skinningrove is trending recently as more people get interested to know about the story behind it. Here’s everything you need to know about “The Big Picture” by Christopher David Killip.
This crisp snapshot of a family outing has an untamed quality that coincides with the North Yorkshire coastal village setting. Killip worked extensively in the area for around 4 four years but only managed to bring four pictures from that experience to the world.
Who was Chris Killip?
Christopher David Killip, more famously known as Chris Killip, was a Manx photographer who was born on July 11, 1946, in Douglas, Isle of Man. He worked at Harvard University from 1991 to 2017, as a Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies.
Killip is widely known for his black-and-white images of people and places that hold brief stories. He received the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award for “In Flagrante.” He was also shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize.
Killip exhibited all over the world writing extensively about his work and perspective. He also appeared on radio and television and curated a number of exhibitions. He passed away on October 13, 2020, of lung cancer at the age of 74.
What is “The Big Picture” by Chris Killip that Reveals a Family’s Sunday Stroll in Skinningrove?
Chris Killip’s one of the most famous works was made popular after his demise in 2020. Termed “The Big Picture,” the image showcases a family outing on a Sunday in Skinningrove which comes from his 1988 book In Flagrante which won him a Henri Cartier-Bresson award.
The photographer worked extensively in the area between 1981 and 1984 in the remote North Yorkshire coastal village of Skinningrove. However, he only managed to get four pictures from that body of work into his book.
The chief reason behind this was the Skinningrove fishermen who believed that the sea in front of them was their private property and they didn’t allow anyone to get near it or capture pictures.
Killip talked about this in a short film about Skinningrove in 2013. “Like a lot of tight-knit fishing communities, Skinningrove could be hostile to strangers, especially ones with a camera,” he said.
“Skinningrove fishermen believed that the sea in front of them was their private territory, theirs alone,” he recalled. Killip revealed that it took a long time before he was accepted in the remote village. However, he later managed to make some friends that allowed him to gather memoirs.
Before his death, Killip personally posted an edition of the photographs through every letterbox in the village. This picture is now included in a full retrospective collection of Killip’s work available at the Photographer’s Gallery in London W1.
Chris Killip will forever be remembered for such deep and memorable works. He isn’t in the world anymore. However, his legacy will live forever.
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