Capturing history in his lens - photographer Colin Jones
Colin Jones has been described as the “George Orwell of photography” - find out why when a new exhibition of his work opens at Lucy Bell Gallery in St Leonards.
Born in the East End of London during the Blitz, the young and dyslexic Colin Jones had attended 13 different schools when he was recruited by the Royal Ballet – an event that changed his life. As a young dancer he performed alongside Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, and in Kenneth MacMillans’ The Invitation with prima ballerina Lynn Seymour, whom he later married.
Jones bought his first camera while on tour in Japan, running an errand for Dame Margot Fonteyn, and started taking photographs. Jones left the ballet in 1962 and went to see The Observer Magazine who employed him to go and photograph the Alabama Race Riots of 1963, and subsequently many other events including the Brazilian gold mines, gangs in Jamaica, prostitution in the Philippines, the boy soldiers of the Khmer Rouge, the Cargo Cults of the New Hebrides who worshipped Prince Phillip.
He was working at the heyday of investigative and photojournalism, alongside photographers such as Don McCullin and Philip Jones Griffiths, under the editorship of Harold Evans at the Sunday Times.
This exhibition coincides with his new website colinjonesarchive.com: it opens April 20 and runs until May 31 and contains some images which have never been shown or seen before.