Home and Away

Alasdair McLellan’s new book is a love letter to British youth
By Ella Joyce | Art | 5 July 2023

Renowned photographer Alasdair McLellan took his first photo aged thirteen: an image of a young lad – Daniel Stephenson – sitting in a wheat field in Tickhill, just outside Doncaster, where McLellan grew up. Now, that image fronts his latest monograph, Home and Away, tracing the photograph’s acclaimed career from that first shot in 1987 to today.

Throughout McLellan’s career, those formative years documenting friends and peers against the landscapes of 90s Yorkshire – from countryside valleys to rave clubs – have been an enduring moodboard to reflect other worlds upon; maintaining those signatures of youth, culture, friendship, music, optimism and innocence always. Comprised of two volumes and over 500 images, Home and Away highlights McLellan’s ability to strip away pretence and posturing, whether he’s photographing the world’s most famous faces, notably the likes of Harry Styles, Kate Moss, Phil Foden and Beyoncé, or his nearest and dearest.

Landscape shots of rural and industrial England punctuate the pages in-between McLellan’s portraiture, alongside still lifes of artefacts which defined the photographer’s youth, like toys, records and pin badges – spot the Saint Etienne memorabilia: McClellan recently created a film for the band’s 2021 record I’ve Been Trying To Tell You. Returning frequently to Yorkshire, capturing the community and scenery of the county allows his work to run parallel with the formative years which shaped him. Although McLellan himself doesn’t appear on the pages, Home and Away is as much of a portrait of him as it is his subjects and the country he calls home.

Speaking on his latest publication, McLellan said; “I suppose it’s a return to simpler times; it was just me and the subject rather than having 30 people standing behind me waiting for the picture to be taken, as it often is now. But at the heart of the pictures then and now, it’s still that same relationship – it’s only who or what you photograph that really matters.”

Home and Away by Alasdair McLellan is available for pre-order via Idea now. The book will be launching tomorrow at London’s Dover Street Market with a book signing by McLellan from 6pm-8pm. 


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