Paul Graham – A1: The Great North Road
Linen hardcover with tipped-in image, 32.2 x 24.3 cm, 96 pages.
A1 – The Great North Road was Paul Graham’s first book, published in 1983. Despite the UK having a vibrant photographic scene at the time, there were only handful of monographic books – Chris Killip and Martin Parr had one each – and no dedicated publishers or distributors. Graham had to self-publish A1, but as the first colour book, it had a startling impact on British photography. Uniting the tradition of social documentary with the fresh approach of new colour, A1 – The Great North Road was transformative on photography in the UK and paved the way for a new generation of British colour photographers to emerge.
Spanning the full length of England and into Edinburgh, Graham travelled repeatedly along the ‘Great North Road’ with a large format camera, to record the people, buildings, and landscape of early 1980’s Britain. Now 40 years old, this book is as much art as it is a historical document of the years of Margaret Thatcher’s government and the UK’s declining industrial base.