The objective of this project was to produce a photographic story of the late 1990s and early 2000’ hedonist culture experienced by many of the so-called ‘Generation X’. It captures the journey of a group of friends as they party their way from Ibiza to London.
The media represented this generation’s antics through the ‘lads mags’ and the newspapers of the time, loading on negative connotations and stereotypical prejudices. It was my aim to show the soft underbelly of the ‘Brits on the Piss’ lifestyle, acknowledging the role having a good time has in establishing friendships that have lasted beyond the documented moment in time.
It was important to me to show, with brutal honesty, the intrinsic nature of the party culture; leaving aside the glitz and glamour in favour of intimate portraits of bruised eyes and smiling faces. The images capture revealing moments in time that beg questions of the audience to construct their own interpretations of narrative, feeling and emotion through stolen moments and expressions. Décor and personal effects create intriguing characters in the absence of any human focus, as if they exist just beyond the frame.
Overall these images are intended to present tender moments nestled among true shock value, where strong composition and a fun narrative theme refresh a common subject.
Subsequently, their collection serves as a reminder of a time when this generation had no problems or responsibilities beyond the next pint. This becomes all the more poignant when we are aware of where the people in the photographs ended up by the time they hit their 30s; many are family men with loving families, some are divorced, some have resigned themselves to the 9-5 world of business, one served a life sentence for murder, while some are still down the local pubs desperately trying to hang on to former good times.
This project continues to evoke familiar and pleasant memories of a time now gone by and It was important for me to try and give people an alternative to the bleak, harsh social documentation that were common in books of this time and type.
Over a period of approximately 7 years I acquired what would now be called a body of work. Many of these images, like so many other uses of this subject matter, placed them in a negative context that dismissed many of the qualities that mattered to the people who lived it. I believe that my retrospective will show a truth through the rawness of a group of people leaving taboos behind in order to have a good time and find their place in the world. While the implements of the culture are acknowledged, the pictures strive to focus beyond the ‘Brits on the Piss’ to reveal the people within them.
The project went on to be published in magazines such as FHM, Zoo and Sleaze Nation.
This collection has been heavily edited for viewing on a public website. The pictures were also taken on 35mm film and shown here are copies of some of the prints which unfortunately do not show the true quality of the prints. If you would to sponsor a full reproduction of this project in book or exhibition format, please contact me.