Picture taken by Park View Academy Student in Saltley, Birmingham
Brian Homer has been a photographer, designer, writer and communications consultant for 40 years working mainly with public sector clients. He has in that time also been actively involved in a wide range of arts-related projects.
As a photographer he was part of the original Handsworth Self Portrait project in 1979 and was also a co-founder of Ten8 an international photography magazine. He spent a period co-running WELD community photography project in Birmingham and he continues to carry out photography commissions for clients. More recently he curated a photography project about community by Andrew Jackson which was part of the re-launch of BVSC in Birmingham.
In recent years, under the banner of Self Portrait Birmingham, he has re-visited self-portrait photography updated with digital techniques in collaboration with Graham Peet of the lamented Public Gallery, the late Pete James Head of Photographs at Birmingham Library and James Yarker of Stan’s Cafe and others. This has involved sessions at homeless shelters and in community contexts in Walsall and Handsworth at the New Art Gallery, Walsall and at tenant engagement events for the Accord Housing Group.
Together with Timm Sonnenschein, Emma-Jo Tucker, Kieran Connell and others he has completed a large self-portrait project for the New Library of Birmingham shot in locations across the city. This was seen for the first time when the library opened in September 2013.
The original Handsworth Self Portrait prints are held jointly by Birmingham Library and Museums and Art Gallery. The negatives are currently being archived and scanned at Autograph ABP a national project based in London. He has lectured on the editorial use of photography and given workshops on photography and design.
He has carried out many editing and writing projects including producing all of Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell’s books and co-writing two of them Waiting for the Upturn and Chairman Blair’s Little Red Book.
He left his agency Homer Creative in 2015 and continues to work on creative projects including Self Portrait photography and jazz photography.
In 2019 he curated an exhibition for Multistory’s Blast! Photo Festival in Sandwell called Five Decades of Self Portrait with included images never before seen in the UK from David Attie’s Russian and American Self Portrait series.