Liverpool people by Stephen Shakeshaft
Betty's Paradise © Stephen Shakeshaft
18 September 2009 to 24 January 2010
This exhibition has now closed
Stephen Shakeshaft, former picture editor and chief photographer of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, is renowned for his remarkable and varied studies of people including rich and poor, unknown and famous.
This exhibition featured about 70 of his photographs including unpublished gems alongside award-winning images amassed since the 1960s over decades of great social change.
© Stephen Shakeshaft
"Markets are great locations to capture candid photographs. Paddy's on Great Homer Street was a place of Liverpool enterprise, unequalled in the High Street. A suit for 2/6d and a joke and a laugh for nothing. Cilla Black's mother was selling clothes and this merchant sailor bagged a bargain."
© Stephen Shakeshaft
"Famous for his Liverpool repartee and his controversial bronze statues Arthur wasn't bashful, he just couldn't understand why I would want to take his photograph. 'Don't be interested in me' he said, 'take a picture of the statues'."
Stephen Shakeshaft started his career as a copy boy in 1962, running typed stories from the sub-editors' desk to the print room for the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo. Later he was accepted as an apprentice there, learning his trade and his art. He rose to become chief photographer and picture editor of both papers.
To say that he has seen it all is a cliché, but Stephen has seen most of it during his career. He has photographed the rise and break-up of The Beatles, the rivalry between Catterick's Everton and Shankly's Liverpool, the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster and so much more.
Between the major events are his photographs of ordinary Merseyside life. Stephen has chronicled old communities of family and friends, capturing a part of Liverpool that has now largely disappeared.
"You can talk about the Capital of Culture, but Liverpool's culture has always been its people.
As a photographer in Liverpool you have always got to see the funny side of life. If you take yourself too seriously you will not get away with it, working on a local newspaper. It is a case of looking left and right and not just straight ahead."