In 1972, while studying photography at Manchester Polytechnic, Daniel Meadows took over a disused barber’s shop in Moss Side’s Greame Street. People came along to the ‘free photography studio’ and had their portraits taken for nothing. Daniel put the pictures in the shop window and distributed prints to people’s houses, but after eight weeks he ran out of money and had to close down. Feeling guilty because people could no longer see the photographs, he laid them out on big wooden boards which he nailed to a tree in the nearby park. Only in retrospect did Daniel realise that this had been his first exhibition.
Now widely regarded as one of the key British photographers of the postwar era, Daniel’s work is held in many major collections, including The Hyman Collection, The British Library, the Arts Council England Collection, the Martin Parr Foundation and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Daniel was the subject of a major retrospective at The National Media Museum in 2011-12, which subsequently toured nationally. Other notable solo exhibitions have been held at Photofusion, the Irish Gallery of Photography, the Photographers’ Gallery, Impressions Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Oxford Museum of Modern Art (curated by Nicholas Serota).
But being a photographer of the people for the people, Daniel has always found himself putting on exhibitions at more community-based places, from Nelson Arndale Centre in 1977 to a church hall in Miles Platting in 2017.