If you want a glimpse of late 1980s Britain, visit an art gallery in Mayfair, where huge photographs of ordinary households are on display.

Taken by Nick Waplington, who released a book of photos taken around Nottingham in the late 1980s offering a candid look at the lives of the people of the time.

It’s an uneasy exhibition, at once fascinating as if visiting an exhibition of the past is to learn about how things were done there, but at the same time awkward as you’re peering into the private lives of people who are, as likely as not, still alive today.

It’s not that far in the past, yet it’s very strange.

I am sure people of a certain age will notice the kitchen tiles in one photo, as blurred as they are, for their classic dark cream colour and patterns. An Electrolux vacuum cleaner, almost a museum piece when it was photographed, held together with brown packing tape. The almost garish 1970s wallpapers that were once the height of fashion are now too much hassle for a busy family to take down. Mum pouring a can of fanta into a baby bottle.

And those carpets!

And yet, there’s family and under the clutter, a loved home to care for. The photo of the car mechanics working outside their home could almost be from last week caring for a vintage car.

Then there’s the kid, sat on the brown sofa, cup of milky tea on the red carpet and cigarette in hand. Barely in his teens, he’s his dad already.

The exhibition, Nick Waplington: Living Room is at Hamiltons Gallery in Mayfair.

It’s open until Saturday 25th May and is free to visit.

Hamiltons Gallery,
13 Carlos Place,

Gallery Opening Hours  

Monday – Friday  |  10am – 6pm

Saturday  |  11am – 4pm




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