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Vanley Burke
Dates: born 1951
Biographical Account:

Vanley Burke is a Jamaican born documentary photographer. He was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica in 1951 and moved to Birmingham in the 1960s. For his 10th birthday Burke’s mother bought him a ‘Box Brownie’ camera, this began his interest in photography. From a young age he started photographing the community, taking pictures of people and their daily life. He went on to study photography at Birmingham Polytechnic.


‘Handsworth from the Inside’ was Burke’s first major exhibition and was shown during the early 1980s at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, and the Commonwealth Institute in London. In order to make his work more accessible to black audiences, he often chose to display his work in locations away from the traditional gallery. He has therefore also exhibited in pubs, clubs, community centres, churches, schools and pool halls.

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