Alan J. Wilkinson
Alan J. Wilkinson is a Manchester-born photographer, educator and activist who began life as the son of a plumber which meant that the bathroom was always changing. This could be a metaphor for the many years of family struggles and lay ahead. To escape these troubles, Wilkinson found the medium of photography to focus his thoughts. For the succeeding thirty years, Wilkinson’s practice has been an autobiographical exploration of his own histories and the people and places he has surrounded himself with.
“I learned how to be a man from my father, a man who was uncomfortable with showing emotion within a male-dominated environment. I now look for that bond between other men, a bond I never had with my own father.
The depiction of the biker, more specifically ‘chopper riders,’ has pendulated over the past sixty years from the hero to the anti-establishment figure we see in the images the Hell’s Angels and the like. This male-dominated culture lay dormant in my own history but has now become a prominent part of my life.
In Kingdom I document the biker subculture, deconstructing the masculine rites and rituals and challenging the hypermasculine representation portrayed in its history.
This two-year visual exploration shows the male-dominated world of the chopper riders and the vulnerability and the unguarded silence that exists under the surface of their masculine performance.”