A Small Voice Podcast: Episode 128 - Ken Grant

Research output: Other contribution


Ken Grant was born in Liverpool in 1967 and at 12 years old bought his first camera - a polaroid - from money he had saved working in the school holidays for his joiner father.

He went on to study photography at technical college, where he discovered and devoured numerous classic photobooks in the library, and then at West Surrey College of Art and Design, in Farnham, where he was mentored or lectured by such luminaries of British photography as Martin Parr, Chris Killip, and Paul Graham.

Ken is best known for having dedicated much of his career to documenting daily working class life in and around Liverpool. Since the 1980s, he has photographed his contemporaries in the city and engaged in sustained projects both in the UK and more widely, in Europe. Ken tends to work slowly, returning again and again to the same places and becoming a familiar sight to the people who gather there. The books that have resulted have often not been published until many years later. His first monograph of the Liverpool pictures, The Close Season, was published by Dewi Lewis in 2002. In Spring 2014, Ken published a second monograph, drawing from the same body of work entitled No Pain Whatsoever (whose title derives from a story by Richard Yates), published by Swedish book designer Gosta Flemming under his imprint, Journal. His most recent book, focussing on images shot on and around a munical land fill site is entitled Benny Profane and was published last year by RRB Books.

Ken’s photographs are held in important collections of photography, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Folkwang Museum in Essen and other international public and private collections.

Ken was the course leader of the famous BA in Documentary Photography course at the University of Wales, Newport between 1998 and 2013 and since then has been a lecturer in the MFA Photography course at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
(Ben Smith/ Editor)
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBen Smith
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 14 Apr 2020


  • Ken Grant
  • Documentary Photography
  • Benny Profane
  • photography and education
  • photography and class
  • Photobook


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