Tony Ray-Jones has long been a favourite photographer of mine, and I wrote about his relationship with surrealism in So Exotic, So Homemade.
While researching that, I looked at the archive of Ray-Jones’s work in what is now the National Media Museum in Bradford. That investigation also led in another direction, resulting in the essay ‘Summer of Love’, published in Source, no. 40 (Autumn 2004). It is this original version which is reproduced here.
It’s one of my best essays, so I was happy to have it reprinted (brought a little up to date and with notes added) in the book Only in England, edited by Greg Hobson and published by the National Media Museum in 2013.
This accompanied an exhibition with the same title at the Media Space in the Science Museum, which brought together Ray-Jones’ work with an early project by Martin Parr. I was in turn asked to review this by Source, who published ‘A Ray-Jones/Parr Hybrid’ in issue 77 (Winter 2014).