Striking Photos Show 80s London Subculture

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 16 months ago
Striking Photos Show 80s London Subculture

Trans women, wrestlers, punks and The Blitz Club — London in the 70s and 80s was bustling with different sub cultures, and photographer Dick Scott-Stewart captured many of them.

Punks on Kings Road 1981
Punks on the Kings Road, 1981 © Dick Scott-Stewart Archive_Museum of London

Drawing his inspiration from some of the great European and American black and white photographers, Scott-Stewart shows great skill in using high contrast and vivid use of light and dark to create his own distinctive style.

The Blitz Club Covent Garden
The Blitz Club Covent Garden 1980. © Dick Scott-Stewart Archive Museum of London

Reflecting on his photographs of youth subculture, Scott-Stewart said the subjects showed "a withdrawal from and opposition to the realities of the present, escaping… into their music, their dress style, their meeting places".

Wrestler at Battersea Town Hall
Wrestler at Battersea Town Hall in 1981 © Dick Scott-Stewart Archive Museum of London

After he died in 2002, the Dick Scott-Stewart Archive was created, as a permanent testimony to his work. He also donated some of his works to the Museum of London, where you can see them when they're on display

Inside the Blitz Club 1981
Inside the Blitz Club 1981 © Dick Scott-Stewart Archive Museum of London
Trans women in Pimlico, 1981 © Dick Scott-Stewart Archive Museum of London

Anna Sparham, curator of photographs at the Museum of London, said: "Dick Scott-Stewart was an accomplished professional photographer who mastered the challenges of black and white film image-making.

"These images offer a fascinating glimpse into different social groups during the late 70s and post-punk era in London. He held great respect for his subjects, recognising and identifying with people on the periphery and his images collectively present a real sense of identity and belonging."

Last Updated 21 October 2016