Literature: Tony Ray-Jones, A Day Off. An English journal by Tony Ray-Jones, 1974, plate 12. (illustrated full page) There titled "Strongman contest, Mablethorpe, 1967"
This image is printed on 35 x 23.2 cm card
The image is Copyright stamped Anna Ray-Jones, 1972 on the reverse. The reverse of the image is futher titled and inscribed in pencil:
Talent Contest Mablethorpe, 1967 / Tony Ray-Jones 102 Gloucester Pl, WI, WE L 4117 and numbered 'V175' , '3 # 1' also in pencil on the reverse.
Tony Ray-Jones, spent the late1960s travelling across England, photographing English society on the brink of change. He was in inspired by 'The Country Life Book of Old English Customs', a book that documented the oddities and eccentricities of English identity. Ray-Jones spent the subsequent years traveling in a VW camper van, collecting seaside postcards and photographing with his handheld Leica. The resulting photographs are humorous, yet simultaneously melancholic, blending the boundaries between documentary practices and artistic endeavours. His photographs have influenced a generation of photographers, most notably Martin Parr, and have defined British photography since his book 'A Day Off' was published posthumously.
Strongman Contest, Mablethrope is one of the photographs taken during Ray-Jones's journey around England. At first glance, the photograph is humorous; yet, upon deeper reflection, the photograph depicts a complicated relationship examining questions around gender, voyeurism and the performative self.