Richard Billingham – Guest Lecturer

Having not really looked at much of Billinghams work before, I was looking forward to him coming to the university to talk to us about his work. I thought it would be an insightful lecture and great introduction for me to see his work.

…Well I was wrong about that. I have to say, I can’t actually tell you much about what he talked about in the middle of his 2.5 hour lecture (on a late Monday afternoon), as I ended up having a little snooze. I so wanted it to be interesting and a new photographers work for me to engross in, but unfortunately that did not happen. Who knows, it could have just been his nerves as it was a large audience, but he isn’t the best at public speaking.


Image by Richard Billingham from the series “Ray’s a Laugh”

I found his “Ray’s a Laugh” series to almost be tacky, which is a word I hate to use about a professional photographers work. The series consists of images mainly of his alcoholic father, but also his mother and occasionally the family cat. Some of the images are humourous, whilst others have a sadness to them.

Image by Richard Billingham

Image by Richard Billingham

I like how when he photographed his children, he tried to capture them naturally, however, eventually they realised what was happening and became aware of him photographing them so they played up to the camera, which is what most children will do when their parents are trying to get a natural shot.

Image by Richard Billingham

Image by Richard Billingham


Image by Richard Billingham

Image by Richard Billingham










His landscape images were my favourite of all that he showed us. I love the serenity that seems to be revealed in all of them. They are calm, inhabited and show places which are so naturally beautiful.

So to conclude, although this wasn’t the best lecture I have been to, Billingham has produced some interesting and pleasant work, which I do enjoy looking at, but don’t think I’ll be attending one of his lectures again!


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