Joseph McKenzie

Beatle Girl (1964 - 1965)

About this artwork

Although on the surface this is an image of a little girl enjoying herself on a walk with her older sister, it documents a time in the nineteen sixties when powerful cultural and economic forces were revolutionising working-class youth culture. It is part of a 1964-5 series portraying the children of the Gorbals (a working-class district of Glasgow) which had been previously photographed in the late 1940s.

Joseph McKenzie

Joseph McKenzie

Joseph McKenzie trained as a photographer whilst in the RAF, and became one of Britain's most prolific post-war practitioners. After his appointment as Lecturer in Photography at Duncan of Jordanstone College in 1964, he embarked on a series of ambitious documentary projects. McKenzie recorded the dramatic transformation of Scotland's cities during the 1960s. During a trip to Belfast in 1969, he witnessed the mounting sectarian violence and clearly sympathised with the Catholic minority. The controversy surrounding a subsequent showing of material at Aberdeen Art Gallery in 1972 compelled McKenzie to withdraw from public exhibition until the late 1980s.