Island Life: Photographs from the Martin Parr Foundation

Colin Jones

Born 1936, London

Jones came from a working class background in east London. He first became a ballet dancer and from there, a photographer. His mentor, Hungarian photographer Michael Peto, liked to capture the backstage reality of ballet. In 1962 Jones got a job with The Observer. His famous photo essay The Grafters documented industrial and mining communities in northern England. He went on to cover the Birmingham Alabama race riots in 1963, Soviet Russia, Jamaica, and Northern Ireland, in between commercial shoots with rock stars. The Black House, created for The Sunday Times Magazine, presented portraits of young black people in the Harambee Housing Project in Islington and led to a solo show at the Photographers’ Gallery in 1977. He publishes in many broadsheets and publications, and exhibits internationally.