Ken Grant b. 1967


Ken Grant was born in Liverpool in 1967. At 12, Grant purchased his first camera, a little polaroid, which he took along when he went to work with his father, a carpenter with a workshop on the River Mersey. At his father's workshop, Grant photograph the labourers - trade's men, carpenters and machinists- as they waited for employment in Liverpool's transient industry. Although at the time he was unaware of the economic circumstances, Liverpool's turbulent economy became the underlying thread tracing through Grant's career. In 1984, Grant's father insisted that he continue his education, so as not to be vulnerable in the declining industry accelerated by Thatcher's economic policy. Grant undertook a two year technical course in photography, alongside many unemployed labourers from the shipyards who had lost their livelihood. After completing his course, Grant enrolled at Farnham in Surrey, one of the first fine art photography courses in the United Kingdom. At Farnham, Grant trained and studied with the most innovative photographers and academics in Britain including Martin Parr, Paul Graham and Yve Lomax. Farnham, unlike many Fine Art Institutions, did not have a guiding philosophy. Even though many photographers began experimenting with colour photography for a fine art context, Grant continued to photograph almost exclusively in black and white in his characteristic square format creating timeless, poetic images that feel autobiographic, but also explore the greater intervening political forces shaping contemporary Britain. Since the 1980s he has photographed his contemporaries in the city and engaged in sustained projects both in the UK and Europe. A monograph of the Liverpool pictures, The Close Season, was published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in 2002. Later in Spring 2014, Grant published a second monograph entitled No Pain Whatsoever. Ken Grant's photographs are held in important collections of photography, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Folkwang Museum Essen and other international public and private collections.