Adrian Saker was born in Marston Green, Birmingham. He studied Art History at London's Courtauld Institute. A self-taught photographer he has been taking pictures of his hometown since 2009. See more of his work at FotoFirst, C41, F-Stop and Dodho.


Subtopia - Adrian Saker


…the creeping mildew that already circumscribes all of our towns. This death by slow decay is called Subtopia…” Ian Nairn

“Something is pushing them
To the side of their own lives.” Philip Larkin


In this project I travelled around suburban Birmingham, in England’s Heartland, and discovered a society lost, confused and in search of an identity – a little like myself at the time of making these pictures. In Subtopia, the parades of shops, parks, avenues and bus-stops, the alleys, wastelands and low-rise buildings – these locations and the people who inhabit them become, for me, both real and imaginary. It is unusual for me to photography people that I know. These fragmentary records of a meeting become something creative, a mixture of the nature of the real world and subjective act of photographing, that aims to encompass an emotional resonance which the viewer can relate to by bringing their own experiences into their interpretation of the work. We create patterns with life in order that we can express it as narrative. In the photograph, narrative is always something which is implied, a tiny fragment of life that is a subjective response to the complexity of the world.