Ordinary, dull, boring and banal

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Photographer, William Eggleston was born into an aristocratic family in the Deep South of the USA. He was very influential in that he took up colour photography at a time when serious photographers only shot in black and white. He is credited with playing a major part in establishing colour photography as an accepted art form. At the first major exhibition of his work over four decades ago the critics queued up to tear it apart. They described it as ordinary, dull, boring and banal. They missed the point but apparently did apologise in years to come because Eggleston’s intent was to photograph the ordinary and the banal….. I saw this pushchair and assorted seaside “stuff” on a beach near Seahouses on the far north east coast of England. It made me think of William Eggleston. When I asked the people nearest to it if they would mind me taking a photograph they said it wasn’t theirs. That was a puzzle because there was no-one else anywhere in sight. Spooky! And by way of an addition there is a great story about William Eggleston when he was invited to a wedding. As a famous photographer he was asked to take some photographs which he did. But when he handed them over he had photographed ashtrays – yes, he was just a little bit different.

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