During the Second World War, Henderson served as a pilot; whilst recovering from that trauma, he began experimenting with photography, documenting the community around his home in Bethnal Green: ‘I just walked and walked and kept staring at everything. And it occurred to me after a while that I might try carrying a camera with me.’
This print is taken from Henderson’s original negative, reproduced here for the first time in print format. In keeping with vintage photography, it features minor imperfections such as scratches and blemishes, and a small additional credit line on the image.
The largest size variation we are able to offer this print in is 80 x 60 cm.
Two unidentified children, one of which is climbing a lamp-post
Original: Black and white negative 5.5 x 5.5 cm Presented to Tate Archive by Stephen and Jo Henderson and the Henderson families, June 2010. © Nigel Henderson Estate
Nigel Henderson (1917 – 1985) was a British photographer and artist. In his early career he worked in avant-garde collages and paintings, exhibiting at the Guggenheim Jeun alongside Pablo Picasso. After serving as a pilot during the Second World War, he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, where he formed a life-long friendship with Eduardo Paolozzi. Henderson took these photographs of the East End whilst recovering from the trauma of the war, and they capture a vibrant portrait of 1950s East London and its post-war community.