The 1980s is a mythologised era in our city’s history, with what with the rise of New Order, Tony Wilson and rave culture. But photography exhibition, Airport ’87, by Shirley Baker (1932 – 2014) offers the chance to see what life actually looked like back then. The exhibition, previously on display at Central Library, is at Wythenshawe Forum’s library and the photographs themselves capture the experiences of the passengers waiting for their flights and shopping for duty free at Macnhester Airport on a single day in 1987. Yes, curly perms and tracksuits were once considered the height of fashion –  but these are sensitive depictions which care for their subject as well as honestly reflecting the era. Salford-born Baker was a celebrated social documentarian who photographed everyday life, beginning in the 1960s. She was known for capturing working class people and inner city areas with both humour and compassion. Her work was the subject of a critically-acclaimed retrospective at Manchester Art Gallery in 2017. The exhibition is also available in an online format here:

From Mon 4 Jun, Wythenshawe Forum Library, Forum Grove, Wythenshawe, Manchester, M22 5RX, Tel: 0161 227 3770, 9am – 5pm, FREE,

Wed 6 Jun - Fri 30 Nov
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Fri 23 Nov 2018