Julian Germain became interested in photography at school. He went on to study it at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham and the Royal College of Art in London. He has published several books, including ‘In Soccer Wonderland’ (1994) and ‘The Face of the Century’ (1999). His first book, ‘Steel Works’ (1990), utilised a combination of his own photographs alongside historical images and pictures from various sources including family albums to examine the effects of the closure of Consett steelworks as well as broader issues of post industrialisation. Julian’s continued belief in the value of amateur and ‘functional’ images is also reflected in his recent book, ‘For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness’, published by SteidlMack in 2005, and also in his project ‘The Running Line’, a sculptural installation in Saltwell Park, Gateshead in 2007, of more than 139,000 pictures made by amateur and professional photographers of the previous year’s ‘Great North Run’.
The continuing series of Generations portraits grew out of the earlier ‘Face of the Century’ project, engaging with similar themes concerning the life cycle, the ageing process, human biology, characteristics and questions of nature and nurture. It specifically and sequentially records direct biological lines of descent.
“Photography captures a single moment in time. But the work of Julian Germain succeeds in raising questions about time passing which bring together past, future and present within the single image. He has succeeded in using portraiture to explore the particular and the specific in a way that eloquently poses questions about the life of every viewer, sending us away moved and challenged. His work explores not just the individual lifespan from birth to death, but also the context of family and society, which gives meaning to personal stories.”
Enjoy also Classroom Portraits by Julian Germain.