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John Claridge’s Afternoons Well Spent

April 24, 2013
by the gentle author

Between 1989 and 2000, photographer John Claridge occupied a building in Rivington St where he set up his home and his studio. While pursuing commercial and documentary photography, John also took time to create the personal work which you see here during his long afternoons. These are just a few compelling examples from a continuous vein of endeavour that has extended throughout his long career.

John’s nudes share a paradoxical sense of mystery – they are simultaneously ethereal yet equally exuding a powerful physical presence that is vividly of this world. Often masked or withholding identity in some way, these women always retain self-possession and inhabit their own space – one which is mutable like that of a dream. A strange universe where a steam train can coalesce out of the miasma.

John respects the power of women in his photography, celebrating their beauty, paying homage to their softness and even fragility but also admitting their strength in body and spirit. Enveloped within their languorous rapture, they regard us askance with unassailable authority.

Photographs copyright © John Claridge

Click to buy a copy of John Claridge’s new book of photography AFTERNOONS WELL SPENT published by Cafe Royal Books today at £5


Take a look at

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round One)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Two)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Three)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Four)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Five)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Six)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Seven)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Eight)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Nine)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Ten)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Eleven)

John Claridge’s Boxers (Round Twelve)


John Claridge’s Clowns (Act One)

John Claridge’s Clowns (Act Two)

John Claridge’s Clowns (The Final Act)


John Claridge’s Darker Side

John Claridge’s Lighter Side

and these other pictures by John Claridge

John Claridge’s East End

Along the Thames with John Claridge

At the Salvation Army with John Claridge

In a Lonely Place

A Few Diversions by John Claridge

This was my Landscape

John Claridge’s Spent Moments

Signs, Posters, Typography & Graphics

Working People & a Dog

Invasion of the Monoliths

Time Out with John Claridge

Views from a Dinghy by John Claridge

People on the Street & a Cat

In Another World with John Claridge

A Few Pints with John Claridge

A Nation Of Shopkeepers

Some East End Portraits by John Claridge

Sunday Morning Stroll with John Claridge

John Claridge’s Cafe Society

Graphics & Graffiti

Just Another Day With John Claridge

At the Salvation Army in Eighties

11 Responses leave one →
  1. Lee permalink
    April 24, 2013

    Very mysterious and erotic images ! …. and I hope to see more.


  2. April 24, 2013

    Tastefully tasty

  3. gary permalink
    April 24, 2013

    images that to me have a link with the ladies of the victorian east end , excellent

  4. April 24, 2013

    Wonderful & Mysterious erotic images.

  5. April 24, 2013

    Certainly a collection of faces that are very different from the boxers!

  6. Marien de Goffau permalink
    April 24, 2013

    The 80s and 90s. A great and very special time.

  7. Adrian Taylor permalink
    April 24, 2013

    Lovely afternoons, John! Thank you.

  8. David Drakes permalink
    April 25, 2013

    Hooray! . . . now we know that JC’s lens can linger lovingly equally well on the contours of the younger and fairer sex (with apologies to the gravel faced former boxers, iconic clowns and the charred landscapes of what was once a proud world class East End).

  9. Alice permalink
    April 27, 2013

    What a treat! The way John changes his style when photographing woman in incredible. You could be forgiven for thinking it was another photographer. I really love the lady standing with the steam trains, what a contrast between the delicate lace and the steel machines. Absolutely beautiful.

  10. April 28, 2013

    Wonderful,amazing images John. I have always loved the way with great care you photograph the female form,and the black and white images stay in the mind

  11. john edwards permalink
    May 14, 2013

    Here’s my hits of these delicious Misses, beauty numbers one, two.
    five & eleven.
    you may notice I have gone mostly for the unmasked – but still enigmatic
    portraits, that’s excepting two and five, the first being solarized so you can only register
    the silvery flash of the limbs as a fish turning in a running stream, the second [ 5 ] has only a
    vestigal mask, or blindfold…almost a shadow across the eyes that, again catches the music of moment. The subject has such gentle abandon in her beauty and the opened pose face,body and limbs both, she is all there, all woman, unique and potent. You can sense the great held, drawn breath about to release as passion consumes every nerve end .The others are not erotic to me, but all have surrealist charm and strength, as if backstage on a set of ‘ Les Enfants du Paradis ‘ fine enough in that manner – just that, dawn or night I like my river au natural and though I love the reflections of light and lanterns in water,I shun the artificial decorationsof pleasure cruises , glitter or masks, visual or aural. Got any more Johnny?

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