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Intimate portrait of contemporary Britain and economic migration revealed in new exhibit at LSE

Andrew Jackson – The Golden Road: New photography, film and writing on contemporary Britain and economic migration
11 January -13 February 2010, Atrium Gallery, Old Building,
Open Monday – Friday, 10am-8pm (also open on Saturday 13 February 2010)

A major new commission by Birmingham-based photographer Andrew Jackson exploring contemporary Britain and economic migration will be exhibited at The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) from Monday 11 January.

Untitled, 20 x 16 inches, digital c-type print, 2009A selection of photographs, film and writing, The Golden Road takes as its starting point the perennial and often contentious issue of immigration. In 2004, the European Union extended its membership to include a number of former Eastern bloc countries. Since this time, in the region of 1 million migrants are estimated to have come to Britain.

The Golden Road focuses on the journey of one such person, known merely as M__, who without being able to speak English, travelled alone, from her village of 2,000 people in Bratislava, Slovakia, to England to find work and start a new life. Over the past two years, Andrew Jackson has documented aspects of M__'s life at close quarters, constructing an intimate and at times bleak portrait of M__'s attempts to build a life for herself in England through photographs, written observations and the short film, No Work, No Cake.

Set in Walsall, where M­­­­­­­__ lives, Jackson's images reflect a meticulous and critical approach to representation. Rather than photographing his subject, Jackson has instead focused, in detail, on elements of M__'s private and public domain. Though devoid of people and often possessing an almost mundane air, Jackson's images are instantly familiar, flitting between domestic settings and public spaces.

Untitled, 20 x 16 inches, digital c-type print, 2009Although M­­__, does not appear in the photographs, Andrew Jackson's considered composition of her life in public and private constructs an intimate portrait of M__ and her life as a migrant in England.

As Andrew Jackson explains: 'The images take us across the demarcation line of public and private space, and beyond too, the lines of demarcation between the parts of our lives we feel we can control, to the chaos of public space, where the reflections and consumption of whom we are are less resolved.'

In The Golden Road, Jackson offers a work that can be read in many ways: not least as a counterpoint to dominant discourse on migration, which, underpinned by hostility and suspicion, has often hampered genuine debate around Britain's relationship to immigration.

Equally, in its innovative use of the documentary genre, The Golden Road is itself a critique of representation in a media age, making it a powerful, yet poignant, portrait of both an individual and of 21st century Britain.

Andrew Jackson – The Golden Road: New photography, film and writing on contemporary Britain and economic migration is on 11 January -13 February 2010, Atrium Gallery, Old Building. Open Monday – Friday, 10am-8pm (also open on Saturday 13 February 2010)


Contact: Richard Hylton, Arts Coordinator, LSE: +44 (0)20 7852 3793 or arts@lse.ac.uk


Andrew Jackson completed a Master of Arts in Documentary Photography at the Centre for Photographic Research, Newport (University of Wales), where he studied under Paul Seawright and Ian Walker. He has undertaken a wide range of commissioned work, from editorial assignments to community-based artwork, as well as personally initiated projects.

In 2006, he exhibited All That It Was... All That It Is (2006), a powerful series of photographs whichintimately explored the lives of individuals in post-apartheid SouthAfrica. This work was subsequently purchased for the permanentcollection of the New Art Gallery, Walsall. In 2008, he wascommissioned to produce The Hidden Landscape which examinednotions of community in the Handsworth and Lozells districts ofBirmingham.

The exhibition has been commissioned by LSE Arts and supported by Arts Council England and Harvard International PLC.

This exhibition is accompanied by a series of events at LSE

A reception for the exhibition will be held on  Monday 18 January 2010, 7-9pm and introduced by Professor Sarah Worthington (pro-director, LSE) and opened by Peter Sutherland (chairman of the LSE Court of Governors).

RSVP arts@lse.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7107 5342

20 January 2010, 6.30-8pm
Shaw Library, Old Building

The Making of The Golden Road: approaches to documentary photography 

In this talk, Andrew Jackson will discuss the development of his practice over the past decade leading to the production of his most recent work The Golden Road.

Wednesday 10 February 2010, 6.30-8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Short films by Andrew Jackson
Fire (24 min., 2009)
No Work/No Cake (21 min., 2009)

In addition to his highly accomplished photography, Andrew Jackson has recently begun to produce short lyrical films which, alongside his photography, attempt to explore different aspects of contemporary Britain's identity through the lives and experiences of particular individuals.  

Exhibition: admission free, Atrium Gallery, Old Building, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

  • The Golden Road events are free and open to all, with no ticket required. However, entry is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • For more information please visit: www.lse.ac.uk/arts, email: arts@LSE.ac.uk or call +44(0)20 7955 6043.

6 January 2010