Syd Shelton

Project Partner - A Riot Of Our Own


Photo: Syd Shelton

Syd Shelton is a British photographer and graphic designer based in Hove where he has his company ‘graphicsi’. He was born in Pontefract, South Yorkshire, England. He studied painting at Leeds School of Art in … In the 1960s he moved to London where Syd developed an interest in photography, which he explored further when he travelled to Sydney, Australia in 1972. Here, Syd worked as a freelance photo-journalist for newspapers such as Nation Review, The Age, and Digger. In 1975 Syd had a solo exhibition of his photographs, ‘Working Class Heroes’ at the Sydney Film-makers Cooperative.

Syd returned to London in 1976 and became a member of the Rock Against Racism (RAR) London committee. At the same time he established the design partnership ‘Hot Pink Heart/Red Wedge Graphics’ with Ruth Gregory. These two political and creative initiatives provided an inspirational environment for the development of Syd’s photography and graphic design interests.

During the 1980s, as well as producing photographs for the music press, and graphics for the public and private sector, Syd co-edited, and was art director of, a series of photographic books 24 Hours in Los Angeles (1984), the award winning Day in the Life of London (1984) and Ireland: A Week in the Life of a Nation (1986).

Syd Shelton’s photographs have been included in the following:

• ‘The World in London’, The Photographer’s Gallery, London 27 July – 12 August 2012 at Victoria Park, London; Park House, 453 – 497 Oxford Street, London, 29 July- 9 September 2012; The Wall, The Photographers’ Gallery 27 July- 3 September, 2012.
• ‘Words, Sound and Power: Reggae Changed My Life’ at The British Music Experience: Britain’s Museum of Popular Music, O2 Arena, London. 24 July-22 October, 2012.
• ‘Carnaby Street: 1960-2010’, 38 Carnaby Street, London W1, 2010.
• ‘Unordinary People: British Youth Culture 1960-2009’. The Royal Albert Hall, London, 2009.
• Black British Style exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2004.
• Anti-Apartheid Mural, South Africa House, London, 2001.

• Hannah Booth. 2012. ‘The Big picture: Bagga, Matumbi by Syd Shelton’ in The Guardian Weekend Magazine, 3 March.
• Aidah Diallo and Sandrine Micossé-Aikins (eds.). 2012. In the Seams: The Aesthetics of Freedom Expressed, Stuttgart: Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V. (ifa).
• Safraz Manzoor. 2010. ‘Whatever Happened to the Asian Punks?’ in The Observer Review, 10 January.
• Carol Tulloch. 2010. ‘Rock Against Racism: 12 Points of Reference’ in
Re/Positionierung: Critical Whiteness/Perspectives of Color, Berlin: Neue Gesellschaft für Blidende Kunst.
• Sam Jones. 2010. ‘Mods, rockers, hippies and psychobillies united in an online archive for lost youth’ in The Guardian, 3 May.
• Judith Clark and Amy de la Haye. 2010. Carnaby Street: 1960-2010, London: London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.
• James Lange, Jolene Adams and Jon Swinstead. 2009. Unordinary People: British Youth Culture 1960-2009, London: PYMCA.
• Mark Payress. 2008. ‘Three Songs & Yer Out!: The dying art of gig photography’ in Creative Review, October.
• Safraz Manzoor. 2008. ‘The year rock found the power to unite’ in The Observer Review, 20 April.
• Tom Robinson. 2008. ‘Still Fighting the Good Fight’ in The Daily Mirror, 14 March.
• Ed Vulliamy. 2007. ‘Blood and Glory’ in The Observer Magazine’ 4 March.
• Carol Tulloch. 2004. Black Style, London: V&A Publications.

• Autograph abp, London
• Rock Archive, London
• Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
• The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, London
• Guenther Dobrauz, Zurich.
• Eric Franck, London

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