Daniel Meadows (born 1952) is an English photographer turned maker of digital stories, and a teacher of photography turned teacher of participatory media.
Life and career as photographer
Meadows was born in Great Washbourne, Gloucestershire, "in the middle of nowhere on the edge of the Cotswolds", on 28 January 1952. Both of his parents had Suffolk origins; his father was a land agent for the Dumbleton Estate, in which the family lived; his mother developed multiple sclerosis when Daniel was young and this gradually became more acute. He spent his early years without television.
With Peter Fraser, Brian Griffin, Charlie Meecham and Martin Parr, Meadows studied at Manchester Polytechnic. (Meadows' 1972 series June Street was a collaboration with Parr.) While a student he was particularly inspired by a lecture by Bill Jay (editor of Creative Camera and Album) and an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery of work by Bill Brandt.
Meadows was living in the Moss Side area of Manchester during termtime, and was aware of its impending demolition. With its many small shops, Moss Side might, he thought, support a "picture shop", so he rented a barber's on Greame Street from January 1972, inviting people to come into the Free Photographic Shop to have their photographs taken for no charge. Two months later he had run out of money and had to close but had gained useful experience.
Inspired by what Bill Jay had said about Benjamin Stone's travel around Britain by horse-drawn caravan, Meadows thought of a mobile version of the Greame Street studio; the Cliff Richard film Summer Holiday suggested a solution. He worked at Butlin's Holiday Camp at Filey during summer 1972 to pay for the publicity materials with which he hoped to get Arts Council and other funding for the purchase and one year's use of a double-decker bus. He succeeded and for 14 months from September 1973 travelled around England in the Free Photographic Omnibus, a 1947 Leyland PD1 bus whose seats had been removed to make space for a darkroom and living quarters: its windows were used as the gallery.[n 1] Meadows took this to twenty or more towns. Some of this work was published in Meadows' first book, Living Like This (1975), which combined Meadows' photographs and text with first-person accounts of those he had talked with.
Among the photographs of this series is Portsmouth: John Payne, aged 12, with two friends and his pigeon, Chequer, 26 April 1974.[n 2] Payne, holding his pigeon in the centre of the photograph, told Meadows that he caught and bred pigeons. Paul Cabuts writes that:
The photograph, like many other photographs in the exhibition [No Such Thing as Society], offers a window on a lost world, one that is difficult to perceive without considerable culturally-specific contextualisation. Meadows' photograph is however a masterstroke in providing clues about the life and times of those recorded through his lens. The boys became the subject, although the pigeon had been the vehicle for this particular engagement. In offering up their pigeon (the photograph was taken at their request), we enter a world of friendship and pride, the social activities on a working class housing estate. . . .
With its echo of Ken Loach's film Kes, the photograph was widely reproduced. It was the cover photograph of the 1975 Arts Council anthology British Image 1 and the photograph on the poster for and catalogue of the 2008 travelling Hayward exhibition No Such Thing as Society.
Meadows went on to photograph the northwest of England and Factory Records in the 1970s and in the 1980s to study the people of a middle-class London suburb (Bromley, although not specified at the time), the latter published as Nattering in Paradise.
Career as teacher and digital storyteller
Meadows became interested in teaching while photographing in Lancashire in the 1970s; in 1983 David Hurn invited him to help teach the Documentary Photography course at Newport College of Art and Design. From 1994 he has taught at Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. His students there have included Tim Hetherington. In the 1990s, he led photojournalism workshops for the Reuters Foundation, the British Council, and other organisations in Europe and the Indian subcontinent.
Meadows' interest in participatory media was greatly influenced by Ivan Illich's ideas as presented in Tools for Conviviality; and his interest in digital storytelling influenced by, successively, Pedro Meyer's I Photograph to Remember, Meyer's ZoneZero website, and the NextExit website of Dana Atchley of the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) at UCB. Meadows taught an undergraduate course titled "Digital Storytelling and Photography" and also contemplated ways of adding digital storytelling to the website he was building about the Free Photographic Omnibus and the later lives of the people this had depicted. Meadows corresponded with Dana Atchley and arranged to attend one of the "boot camps" held by Atchley, Joe Lambert and Nina Mullen. Atchley was too ill to appear, but at the camp and a subsequent event at Ben Lomond he learned and exchanged ideas.
From 2001 to 2006 Meadows was creative director of Capture Wales, a BBC Wales project: "[he] accomplished an innovative reworking of the Californian [CDS] model, adapting it to the 'media ecology' of UK public broadcasting".
Since this time Meadows has also lectured widely about digital storytelling.
In August 2014, Meadows' photographic archive was described as being in the process of acquisition by the Library of Birmingham: "Meadows established a relationship with a collecting institution with specialist expertise and resources", receiving much help from Pete James, the library's Curator of Photography Collections, and Val Williams. With a drastic cut of funds to the Library of Birmingham, its ability to continue to archive the work seemed doubtful.[n 3]
The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford acquired the archive in March 2018. In autumn 2019, the Bodleian celebrated the acquisition with an exhibition of Meadows' work, Now and Then, accompanied by a book.
- "The Free Photographic Omnibus." Museum of Modern Art Oxford, 1974.
- "Living Like This." Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), 1975. To coincide with publication of Meadows' book Living Like This.
- "Shuttles, Steam and Soot: A Cotton Mill in Lancashire." Half Moon Gallery (London), 1978.
- "Daniel Meadows." Uppermill Photographic Gallery (Oldham), 1981.
- "Suburbia." The Photographers' Gallery (London), 1987.
- "National Portraits: Photographs from the 1970s." Viewpoint Photography Gallery (Salford); Montage Gallery (Derby), 1997.
- "National Portraits: Now and Then." Irish Gallery of Photography (Dublin), 2000.
- "Now and Then." Photofusion Gallery (Brixton, London), 2001.
- "Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works." National Science and Media Museum (Bradford), 2011–2012; Ffotogallery (Penarth), 2012; the Gallery, Library of Birmingham, 2014; London College of Communication (London), 2015.
- "Now and Then." Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, October–November 2019.
Joint and group exhibitions
- "Photographs of Butlin's Filey." Impressions Gallery, York, 1972. With Martin Parr. Photographs of Butlin's in Filey.
- "Serpentine Photography 73." Serpentine Gallery (London), 1973. Curated by Peter Turner.
- "The Other Britain." National Theatre (London), and touring in Britain, 1982.
- "Look at Me: Mode en Fotografie in Groot-Brittannië 1960–1998." Curated by Brett Rogers and Val Williams. Kunsthal (Rotterdam), 1998.
- "How We Are: Photographing Britain from the 1840s to the Present." Curated by Val Williams and Susan Bright. Tate Britain (London), 2007.
- "The British Are Coming." Stephen Bulger Gallery (Toronto), 2007. With Chris Coekin and Tony Ray-Jones.
- "No Such Thing as Society." Curated by David Alan Mellor. Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 2008. Tullie House (Carlisle); Ujazdów Castle (Warsaw); 2008–2010.
- "Projections of Reality." Red October (Moscow), 2010. Meadows contributed "The Photobus".
- "The Other Britain Revisited: Photographs from New Society." Victoria and Albert Museum (London), 2010.
- "Cameras in the Community" (Fotonow). Plymouth Arts Centre, 2010. With Camper Obscura, Laundrette Residencies and South West Graduate Photography Prize.
- "A Record of England." MAC (Birmingham), 2011. With Homer Sykes.
- Bodleian Libraries (Oxford): Meadows' archive (previously at Birmingham Central Library, thereafter the Library of Birmingham).
- Victoria and Albert Museum (London)
Books of work by Meadows
- Daniel Meadows. Living Like This: Around Britain in the Seventies. London: Arrow, 1975. ISBN 0-09-911400-3.
- Daniel Meadows. Nattering in Paradise: A Word from the Suburbs. London: Simon & Schuster, 1988. ISBN 0-671-69890-7. With Sara Tibbetts.
- Daniel Meadows. Set Pieces: Being about Film Stills Mostly. London: BFI, 1993. ISBN 0-85170-389-5, ISBN 0-85170-390-9.
- Daniel Meadows. National Portraits: Photographs from the 1970s. Edited by Val Williams. Salford: Viewpoint Photography Gallery; Derby: Montage Gallery, 1997. ISBN 0-901952-81-8.
- Daniel Meadows. The Bus: The Free Photographic Omnibus, 1973–2001: An Adventure in Documentary. London: Harvill, 2001. ISBN 1-86046-842-X.[n 4]
- Val Williams. Daniel Meadows: Edited Photographs from the 70s and 80s. Brighton: Photoworks, 2011. ISBN 1-903796-46-6.[n 5]
- Daniel Meadows. Now and Then: England 1970–2015. Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2019. ISBN 978-1-85124-533-8.[n 6]
Zines of work by Meadows
- Stockport Gypsies 1971. Southport: Café Royal, 2015. First in a series of eight zines by Meadows. Edition of 200 copies.[n 7]
- Bancroft Shed Weaving 1976. Southport: Café Royal, 2015. Edition of 200 copies.[n 8]
- Bancroft Shed Engine House 1976. Southport: Café Royal, 2015. Edition of 200 copies.[n 9]
- Weldone Boiler Fluers 1976–1977. Southport: Café Royal, 2015. Edition of 200 copies.[n 10]
- Steeplejack 1976. Southport: Café Royal, 2015. Edition of 200 copies.[n 11]
- Pig Killing 1975–1976. Southport: Café Royal, 2015. Edition of 200 copies.[n 12]
- Welfare State International 1976–1983. Southport: Café Royal, 2015. Edition of 200 copies.[n 13]
- Clayton Ward 1978. Southport: Café Royal, 2015. Edition of 200 copies.[n 14]
- Eight Stories. Southport: Café Royal, 2015. Edition of 50 copies. Box set with eight Café Royal publications and a DVD of short films corresponding to each book.[n 15]
- The Shop on Greame Street 1972. Southport: Café Royal, 2016. Edition of 250 copies.[n 16]
- Testimony February 1987. Southport: Café Royal, 2018. Edition of 150 copies.[n 17]
- Graffiti 1971–1983. Southport: Café Royal, 2018. Edition of 250 copies.[n 18]
- British Image 1: Photographs by Homer Sykes, Claire Schwob, John Myers, Daniel Meadows, Bryn Campbell, Roslyn Banish, Ian Dobbie, and Paul Carter. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1975. Meadows' "The Free Photographic Omnibus" appears on pp. 38–49.
- Julian Bream: A Life on the Road. London: Macdonald, 1982. ISBN 0-356-07880-9. About the lutenist Julian Bream. Text by Tony Palmer, photographs by Meadows.
- God in Wales Today: Religion in a Cathedral Town. The Newport Survey 6. Newport: Gwent College of Higher Education, 1986. ISBN 0-9507317-5-7. Edited by Meadows.
- Education: The 5 Rs: Reading, Riting, Rithmetic, Right, Rong: A Photographic Survey of Education in Newport. The Newport Survey 8. Newport: Gwent College of Higher Education, 1988. ISBN 0-9507317-7-3. Edited by Meadows.
- Look at Me: Fashion and Photography in Britain 1960 to the Present: A Touring Exhibition Curated by Brett Rogers and Val Williams. London: British Council, 1998. ISBN 0-86355-389-3.
- Love Stories. Granta 68. New York: Granta, 1999. ISBN 0-9645611-8-2. Ed. Ian Jack. Includes "Then and Now" by Meadows.
- How We Are: Photographing Britain from the 1840s to the Present, ed. Val Williams and Susan Bright. London: Tate Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85437-714-2.
- No Such Thing as Society: Photography in Britain 1967–1987: From the British Council and the Arts Council Collection, by David Alan Mellor. London: Hayward Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85332-265-5.
- BAFTA Cymru Award, 2002, for Capture Wales.
- Honorary fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society, 2008.
- The bus survives, in the possession of The Transport Museum, Wythall. In April 2014 it was described as "being renovated and restored" ("Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works", Royal Photographic Society). The Transport Museum shows the bus here ("From Our Collection: Barton JRR 404"), describing it as built in 1948.
- The title has been given in various forms; this is how it appears on the copyright page and p.32 of No Such Thing as Society (2007).
- In a note within his page "The Archive", Meadows points the reader to a December 2014 article by Francis Hodgson, "Another one bites the dust", which describes the importance to British photographic history of the Library and the gravity of the Library's situation.
- A review of The Bus: David Heathcote, "Another look at British identity", Eye, Autumn 2001.
- Photoworks' page about Daniel Meadows: Edited Photographs from the 70s and 80s is here.
- The Bodleian Libraries' page about Now and Then is here.
- Café Royal's page about Stockport Gypsies 1971 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Bancroft Shed Weaving 1976 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Bancroft Shed Engine House 1976 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Weldone Boiler Fluers 1976–1977 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Steeplejack 1976 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Pig Killing 1975–1976 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Welfare State International 1976–1983 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Clayton Ward 1978 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Eight Stories is here. The short films can all be found at Daniel Meadows' page at Vimeo here.
- Café Royal's page about The Shop on Greame Street 1972 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Testimony February 1987 is here.
- Café Royal's page about Graffiti 1971–1983 is here.
- The Bus, 63–67; Meadows' description of Great Washbourne is on p.65.
- "The Daniel Meadows Archives". Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), PARC Projects, Photography and the Archive Research Centre.
- Phil Coomes, "Daniel Meadows on digital literacy", BBC News in Pictures, 15 November 2011. Accessed 2 May 2012.
- Daniel Meadows, Living Like This, pp. 9–10.
- Meadows, Living Like This, p.12.
- David Allan Mellor, No Such Thing as Society: Photography in Britain 1967–87: From the British Council and the Arts Council Collection (London: Hayward, 2007), p.32.
- Meadows, Living Like This, pp. 14, 16.
- British Image 1, p.40 (the photograph appears opposite, and is titled John Payne from Portsmouth, aged 12); Living Like This, p.61 (the photograph appears on the same page, and, like many in the book, is not given a title).
- Paul Cabuts, "Three boys and a pigeon: Photography in Wales", Planet 196. Reproduced here on Cabuts' site. Accessed 3 November 2010.
- David Alan Mellor, No Such Thing as Society, p.32.
- Val Williams, Daniel Meadows: Edited Photographs from the 70s and 80s (Brighton: Photoworks, 2011), 220, 221, 224.
- David Alan Mellor, No Such Thing as Society: Photography in Britain 1967–1987: From the British Council and the Arts Council Collection (London: Hayward Publishing, 2007), 217.
- Tim Hetherington, "The Big Issue", Source. Accessed 1 November 2010.
- Potted biography, "Artists Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine", Projections of Reality. Accessed 1 November 2010.
- Daniel Meadows, "The Electric Engagement", pp. 94–96 within Daniel Meadows and Jenny Kidd, "Capture Wales: The BBC Digital Storytelling Project"; in John Hartley and Kelly McWilliam, eds, Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley, 2009; ISBN 978-1-4051-8059-7), pp. 91–117.
- Therese Nolan-Brown, "Digital storytelling at QUT: A survey of digital storytelling projects and activities" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) (PDF), Queensland University of Technology, 10 May 2008.
- John Hartley and Kelly McWilliam, "Computational Power Meets Human Contact", in Hartley and McWilliam, eds, Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World, p.6.
- Padley, Gemma (12 August 2014). "Daniel Meadows at the Library of Birmingham". British Journal of Photography. Apptitude Media. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "Daniel Meadows: Key points from the case study", Photographers' Archives and Legacy Project. Accessed 7 October 2019.
- Daniel Meadows, "The Archive", Photobus. Accessed 7 October 2019.
- Diane Smyth, "Obituary: Pete James, Curator of Photography Collections at the Library of Birmingham, 1958–2018", British Journal of Photography, 14 March 2018. Accessed 7 October 2019.
- Michael Pritchard, "The Daniel Meadows Archive: An update", British Photo History, 2 February 2019. Accessed 7 October 2019.
- "Britain then and now captured in unique exhibition by pioneering documentary photographer Daniel Meadows", Bodleian Libraries, 10 September 2019. Accessed 4 October 2019.
- Williams, Daniel Meadows, 240, 241.
- Williams, Daniel Meadows, 240, 243.
- Williams, Daniel Meadows, 240.
- Val Williams, Look at Me: Fashion and Photography in Britain 1960 to the Present: A Touring Exhibition Curated by Brett Rogers and Val Williams (London: British Council, 1998), 127.
- Invitation card from the Photographers' Gallery for a private viewing of "Suburbia", "The World Over" (George Rodger) and "Incurably Romantic" (Bernard Stehle).
- Val Williams, ed., National Portraits: Photographs from the 1970s (Salford: Viewpoint Photography Gallery; Derby: Montage Gallery, 1997).
- List of past exhibitions, Irish Gallery of Photography. Accessed 30 October 2010
- Robert Murphy, "Going back to the Future", Evening Standard, 18 May 2001. Accessed 6 June 2014.
- Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works, National Science and Media Museum. Accessed 4 May 2020.
- Liz Jobey, "Street life". Archived from the original on 4 September 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), Financial Times, 2 September 2011.
- Exhibition notice, Redeye. Accessed 29 April 2012.
- Exhibition notice, Ffotogallery. Accessed 6 June 2014.
- Ben Miller, "Pioneer Daniel Meadows enjoys retrospective in Early Photographic Works at Ffotogallery", culture24.org, 11 July 2012. Accessed 6 June 2014.
- "Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works", Library of Birmingham. Accessed 2014-06-06.
- "Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works". University of the Arts London. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- Kelly Richman-Abdou, "Photographer captures portraits of strangers he met on the streets 25 years later". My Modern Met, 16 September 2019. Accessed 4 October 2019.
- Michael Pritchard, "Publication/Exhibition: Now and Then, Daniel Meadows / Oxford, from 4 October 2019", British Photographic History, 26 August 2019. Accessed 4 October 2019.
- Williams, Daniel Meadows, 239.
- Serpentine Photography 73: The Arts Council Presents Work by 43 Young Photographers (London: Serpentine Gallery, 1973). Exhibition catalogue.
- "The Other Britain Revisited: Photographs from New Society", Victoria and Albert Museum, 2010. Accessed 2 May 2010.
- Exhibition notice Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Kunsthal. Accessed 29 April 2012.
- Blake Morrison, "Think of England", Guardian, 19 May 2007. Accessed 6 June 2014.
- Benjamin Secher, "Portraits of a strange land", Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2007. Accessed 22 January 2010.
- Exhibition notice, Stephen Bulger Gallery. Accessed 1 November 2010.
- David Balzer, "The Prince of Tides". Archived from the original on 10 February 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), Toronto Life, January 2007.
- Press release Archived 17 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine for the exhibition, British Council. Accessed 15 February 2009.
- Jon Savage, "Tories, turmoil and tank tops", The Guardian, 24 March 2008. Accessed 26 October 2019.
- List of projects Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Projections of Reality. Accessed 1 November 2010.
- Карина Абдусаламова, "Проекции реальности: столкновения с (не)знакомым Archived 17 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Vostok Inform. Accessed 1 November 2010.
- "Негатив в шоколаде", Kommersant. Accessed 1 November 2010.
- Exhibition aarchive Archived 6 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Fotonow. Accessed 6 June 2014.
- Mac Birmingham Summer Brochure 1011, issuu.com. Accessed 30 April 2012.
- "The Art Fund helps Birmingham Central Library secure important photographic legacy for the nation". Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), the Art Fund, 10 February 2009.
- "Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works", Royal Photographic Society, April 2014. Accessed 6 June 2014.
- Search results, Victoria and Albert Museum.
- "Daniel Meadows awarded RPS Fellowship". Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), Cardiff School of Journalism, Media, and Cultural Studies, 22 September 2008.
- Daniel Meadows' site
- Daniel Meadows at the Wayback Machine (archived 4 October 2012) at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies
- Capture Wales.
- Frost, Thomas. Joy Division and Daniel Meadows at the Wayback Machine (archived 12 December 2010). 4ortherecord.com.
- Meadows, Daniel. "Introduction to Digital Storytelling" BBC Wales.
- Meadows, Daniel, Lisa Heledd, and Carwyn Evans. "How Public Broadcasting Serves the Public Interest in the Digital Age" (PDF). Transcript of a paper presented to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image on 5 February 2006.
- Steele, Heather Louise. Cameras, Joy Division and a Double-Decker Bus... at the Wayback Machine (archived 27 August 2011). Snapshots and snippets, 12 November 2009
- Audio Interview on Ffoton Wales, May 2017
- Ffoton video with David Hurn at launch of Hurn's 'Swaps' exhibition at National Museum Wales, Cardiff, 2017
- 'Encounters with Strangers: The photography of Niall McDiarmid' Ffoton film with Daniel Meadows and Niall McDiarmid at launch of Niall's 'Town to Town' exhibition at the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol, 2018
- 'My Approach to the Photo Essay' Short series of Ffoton videos, 2017
- Daniel Meadows: Archive at Bodleian Library, Oxford", Ffoton. Meadows briefly describes the archive.