Dafydd Jones: Past and Present

12th – 16th November 2019

Michael Beatson-Clark; Richard Harris-Smith; Chris beatson-Clark. Beagle Ball.

Dafydd Jones is recognised as one of the world’s leading social photographers, which over the years has given him unique access to an extraordinary range of social events – from exclusive parties, to the races, to fashion shows, film festivals and debutantes balls.

His keen eye, and an instinct for the absurd, has allowed him to capture the behaviour of people who are either unaware of or indifferent to the camera.

Past and Present explores a variety of social situations, from the mundane to the exalted, and features celebrities, artists,  models and even the occasional princess – all glued to their phones.

Dafydd Jones has focused on one of the most dominant elements of the social life of our times how the smartphone has taken us all over. It is a timely and rather sobering look at this phenomenon, done with his usual eloquence as a photographer’. Martin Parr

Almost everyone uses a smartphone, and most of us are addicted. In this book, photographer Dafydd Jones shows us just how pervasive our screen addiction has become. In almost every social situation, he shows how the smartphone has killed conversation and changed the way we look at the world.

‘In the eighties and nineties’, says Jones, ‘when I photographed young people at parties or balls, I’d find them chatting each other up, or smooching in corners. Now I see them sneaking looks on their iPhones, checking on their Instagram feeds, or whatever it is they’re hooked on. They hardly talk to each other, or make eye contact at all. And it’s not just a generational thing – it afflicts the oldies too. Who knows what impact it’s having in the bedroom. It’s probably a race to see what will wipe out humanity first – global climate change or screen-induced sexual indifference.’