Halloween Ball, 1987 © Dafydd Jones

Dafydd Jones at The Photographers’ Gallery

Whirl back to the 80’s, to the heyday of the Sloane Ranger and the time that Dafydd Jones termed, ‘the last hurrah of the upper classes.’ Working for Tina Brown at Tatler, the photographer captured a moment in time with candid snaps of Hunt Balls, society weddings and debutante dances. Get a glimpse behind-the-scenes during those Tatler years at this small exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery.

Burning boat, Oriel. Oxford 1984 © Dafydd Jones

There’s a series of Teenage Parties that includes banks of teens snogging at The Feathers, there’s girls sleeping in the quad after an Oxford Summer Ball. This image above captures the explosive energy of the times; ‘Each year the college that rowed ‘head of the river’ during Eights week set fire to an old boat after a celebration dinner. Oriel were usually the triumphant college so must have been running low on boats. I photographed this first in 1981 and then went back again in 1984. This picture was the definitive one. Each time I would have to smuggle myself into the college before the porter would lock the doors to outsiders. I’d make myself inconspicous until I’’d hear shouting and cheering coming from the dinner and then the rowers would come out and the boat would be set fire to. Everyone took their turn to jump or trample over the fire with much cheering. Whilst this was going on there was a chant of ‘’No Women’ echoing around the quad as the college had just voted to allow women students. For no logical reason for me it symbolises the eighties, the big bang and time of Thatcher.’

Feathers Ball. Hammersmith Palais. London. December 1981 © Dafydd Jones

Dafydd Jones: The Last Hurrah is on display and available for acquisition at The Photographers’ Gallery, London from 3 August. The book by same name will be published by STANLEY/BARKER on 2 August 2018.

Dafydd Jones: The Last Hurrah
3 August - 8 September 2018
The Photographers Gallery 16 - 18 Ramillies Street, W1F 7LW
Free entry
— Daisy Allsup
2nd August 2018