Stuart Clarke

Born in 1961 in Hertfordshire, England, Clarke has been based for his entire professional career in the wilds of the romantic English Lake District. Certainly this has influenced his approach to what might be thought of as an urban phenomenon. Clarke has set off for football grounds on some 3,500 occasions, in the UK alone. His canvas includes the national team, the mighty club teams like Manchester United, as well as the small or unheard of clubs, grounds, sets of fans, matches, moments. In this way Clarke fulfils William Wordsworth’s maxim of comparing and treating the biggest and smallest events and features with the same level of interest.

Clarke began the football journey, in large-scale (as well as intimate) photographs in the wake of a series of international footballing disasters, culminating with the Hillsborough Disaster of 1989. Shocked that the beloved game could have come to this, he set about his unique ‘celebration’, with all its asides, visual commentaries and critiques. He was soon adopted by The Football Foundation as their ‘war’ (equivalent) artist whilst also drawing the interest and approval of all the UK’s governing football authorities.

In 1993 Clarke staged a campaigning show in the House of Parliament at Westminster. “Homes of Football” was and remains Clarke’s only well-known body of work, given that it has taken him most of his adult life. His work is revered throughout the football world and he is rightly considered the number one photographer of football culture.

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