It’s a strange thing to see the more banal aspects of life from the year you were born: the traffic jams, the boredom, the waiting about on buses. We only usually look back on the beautiful, newsworthy, interesting things of the 1980s – the Debbie Harrys and Cyndi Laupers and miners’ strikes and famines – all of which are fascinating and need to be remembered, but looking at the everyday aspects of life is equally interesting in a different way. That’s why Chris Dorley-Brown’s photographic series Drivers in the 1980s is so alluring: it does just what you’d expect, presenting people through the windows of their car doors (and the odd bus) in and around east London in the mid ’80s. As a person born in ’86 and now living in east London, there’s a very personal fascination for me when looking at the images, imagining what my mum would have looked like all permed and large-spectacled and cursing roadworks. There’s something so charming in this elevation of ennui to art, with all the normality of the scenarios and the feeling of nostalgia for a time I can’t really remember.
The images are now published in a book by Hoxton Mini Press, Drivers of the 1980s, which you can buy here.
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