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Photography book review: Pictures from the Real World, By David Moore


In 1988, Martin Parr was asked to nominate work for a "State of the Art" feature in Creative Camera magazine, and chose the degree show of one of his students at West Surrey College of Art: David Moore's vivid colour-documentary Pictures From the Real World series.

Sadly, Moore's piercing view of life in the margins of Thatcher's Britain seems apposite once more. Shot on a council estate in his native Derby, all stained carpets, peeling wallpaper and broken glass, the pictures have a claustrophobic quality; the subjects trapped inside the frame of the pictures as much as by their impoverished circumstances. But there is also bleak humour, incongruity, and a distinctive Britishness: you can see why they so appealed to Parr.