Joseph Kaler, London 2017

The Forces that Shape Britain


I think you realize after taking pictures for some time that the same stories and ideas keep emerging. For me, I started with a loose collection of visual ideas and street theories around why different people live the way they do? and the decisions they make that shape who they become.


I wanted to explore were those paths lead and which decisions were the ‘right’ one’s? I wanted to capture these events, as well as record the physical landscape that permeate my work as well as the characters that appear in them.


So I started to look harder and listen more, not just at stuff around me but to modern storytellers that had gone before. The direct messages in realist imagery had an instant appeal – mid C20 cinema from Italy and then the UK, narratives in popular music and photography by the likes of Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank all seemed to address those fundamental questions I was looking at. While abstract pioneers in all mediums expanded visual languages further, providing me with limitless tools to engage the viewer at a subconscious level.


These multidimensional images stay with you and seep into your consciousness in some fashion, working on the viewer from all sides. I realized that some of the most powerful imagery worked primarily on these emotional levels and had the potential to communicate ideas and meanings in the same way my favourite films and music could.


The selected group of images on this site, represent an attempt to realize and develop some of those formal and theoretical challenges, as well as try to reconcile the questions, pressures and dreams which shape the lives of the millions of people in the UK today.


But I've always wanted to do more than simply reflect reality, if you look hard enough, some of the answers are also there too.




© Joseph Kaler 2021