Gavin Watson: Time Has Creative Power

The British subculture photographer Gavin Watson launches a zine and an archive, featuring works spanning 35 years

Youth Club, a not-for-profit organisation devoted to preserving and celebrating youth culture, is to launch a website dedicated to the British photographer Gavin Watson. Gavin Watson Archive will feature 20,000 photographs taken over 35 years, many of them previously unseen. It goes live on 5 April.

Born in a High Wycombe council estate, Watson started out by photographing his brother in the 1980s. A regular contributor to Jocks&Nerds, he has photographed skinheads, punks and rave culture.

Watson's images served as an inspiration to This Is England director Shane Meadows, who wrote the foreword to Watson's Skins and Punks (2008). For Meadows, “What makes Gavin's photos so special is that when you look at them, there's clearly trust from the subject towards the photographer so it feels like you're in the photo rather than just observing.”

The launch will be marked by a talk from Watson at London’s Doomed Gallery in Dalston. Watson will discuss his career, focusing on the stories that led to some of his most significant works. Time Has Creative Power, a limited edition 40-page zine will be on sale on the night and online. Signed prints, posters and T-shirts will also be available.

Youth Club incorporates the Photographic Youth Music & Culture Archive (PYMCA), which includes over 300,000 images from seven decades. It is currently embarking on a major preservation program.