Ian Beesley



Life is the first ever career retrospective of internationally acclaimed photographer, Ian Beesley. Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, a northern England city that played a major role in the Industrial Revolution,  Ian has a vast archive of photographs created during a career spanning over 45 years.

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Ian first found work at Esholt sewage works, where colleagues urged him to find a passion and engage in education. With their help, he found photography. He headed first for Bradford College of Art, then Bournemouth and Poole College of Art. On graduation, he won the Kodak scholarship for social documentation. Thus began a lifelong study of the North’s cultural and industrial heritage.


Beesley’s early output was created walking the streets, capturing an industrial society that is now extinct: kids playing outside, ladies talking between tightly terraced streets, grafters working at full pelt within vast Victorian factories. He soon started documenting the brutal closure of core heavy industries such as mining and iron and steel production. The nobility of labour and the horror of one’s skills being forcibly rendered obsolete figure largely in these works.


Ian has exhibited internationally and his work has been published in over 50 books. In 2012, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society and, in 2009, an honorary doctorate from the University of Bradford for his significant contribution to the artistic, cultural and social well-being of the city of Bradford.

Additional information

Weight 2 kg
Dimensions 29 × 27 × 2.5 cm

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