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.
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.