Dorothy Bohm moved to England aged just 15 in 1939, and went onto become one of the country’s most significant photographic figures both through her own work and her role in the foundation of The Photographers Gallery. A new show opening in London tomorrow features some wonderful images of London in the 1960s, a time and place which repetition and cliché have rendered somewhat overdone. But Dorothy’s wonderful work goes above and beyond these jaded stereotypes – she is in interested in a city in flux rather than simplistic narrative sweep.
She says: "Almost every area had its own character and I knew I was undertaking a very difficult task. I tried not to be content with just the facade or outward appearance of things. I hoped to penetrate just beyond that, to portray a living London: the people who pursued their daily occupations, walked, talked, ate or relaxed and dressed in the fashions of the time.”
Armed with her trusty Rolleiflex camera, she roamed the streets and captured scenes that paradoxically speak to us much more succinctly in their quietude. She also has an eye for the city as a stage, the naturalistic sense of drama sometimes thrown up by everyday life.
Dorothy Bohm: Sixties London is at Proud Chelsea from tomorrow until April 28.