Katherine Green:Edwin Bowey (b. 1924), London, 2011. Freestyle Wrestler

Work / Photography

Compelling series by Katherine Green featuring the stars of the 1948 Olympics

We’re braced for an onslaught of Olympics-themed creative projects, from the sublime to the ridiculously tenuous, but social documentary photographer Katherine Green has produced what’s sure to be one of the best.

She tracked down and photographed athletes who took part in the previous London Olympics in 1948 “as an antidote to the massive media coverage of the games,” she tells us. Training schedules fuelled by a rationed diet and hand-sewn kits seems a world away from the slick corporatism of London 2012 but there’s far more to this project than simple point-scoring – it’s a meditation on youth, personal histories and in many ways the cultural creation of sporting celebrity and as such is enduring, powerful and fascinating.

The pictures are on show at the Tokarska Gallery in east London until July 21, and Katherine is also hoping to produce a book of the project through the literary crowdfunding Unbounders website.


Katherine Green: Dorothy Tyler (b. 1920), Surrey, 2008. High Jump (silver medal winner)


Katherine Green: Cathie Gibson (b. 1931) Dunfirmline, 2008. Swimmer (bronze medal winner)


Katherine Green: Dame Mary Glen Haig (b. 1918), London, 2007. Fencer


Katherine Green: Ron Cooper (b. 1928), London, 2007. Lightweight Boxer


Katherine Green: Roy Romain (b. 1918), Surrey, 2007. Captain of the swimming team


Katherine Green: John & Dorothy Parlett (b. 1925 & 1927), Essex, 2007. Runners


Katherine Green: Audrey Beever, (nee Rennard), (b.1934), Shipley, 2012. Gymnast