A major retrospective exhibition detailing life, the evolution of working-class communities and the rise and fall of industry in Teesside and Cleveland will be on display at two North East venues.

Fixing Time, exploring 50 years of work by renowned British artist and photographer Ian Macdonald. will be at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Mr Macdonald, who loves in Grosmont in the North York Moors, boasts a rich and prolific career spanning five decades behind the lens.

His extensive body of work aligns with the tradition of British documentary photography that emerged during the mid 1970s and into the 1980s, a period marked by political shifts and social upheaval.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Fixing Time is a retrospective exhibition across two venues exploring 50 years of work from renowned British artist and photographer Ian MacDonaldFixing Time is a retrospective exhibition across two venues exploring 50 years of work from renowned British artist and photographer Ian MacDonald (Image: SUNDERLAND CULTURE)

Distinctive in his approach, Mr Macdonald developed a unique style using traditional black-and-white film and print-making techniques.

Fixing Time is the first comprehensive retrospective of Mr Macdonald's work.

It includes previously unseen portraits captured in secondary schools across England over a span of 35 years.

The exhibition also features detailed large-scale drawings—testaments to Macdonald's skill as a trained draughtsman—which often serve as precursors to his photographic projects.

The exhibition incorporates photographs, archival materials, publications, and videos, offering a deeper understanding of the "quiet man of British documentary photography" and highlighting Mr Macdonald's substantial contribution to British photography.

The exhibition at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens spotlights key photographic series such as 'Heavy Industry', 'Smith’s Dock Shipyard', 'Redcar Blast Furnace' and 'School Portraits'. It runs from July 20 to January 4, 2025.

Concurrently, the exhibition at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art delves into other significant series like 'The River Tees Estuary', 'Greatham Creek' and 'People, Towns and Portraits'. It runs from July 20 to November 3.

Martin Parr, British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector., said: "I have known Ian Macdonald for over 40 years, watching with quiet admiration his accumulation of documentary photographs, all taken with the same dedication and passion in this extensive work period.

"We can now look back and recognise, not only the documentary value of what he has taken, but also the individual power of some of his images.

"It’s that magical moment that all of us photographers aim for. The photograph that both informs and entertains, but somehow also transforms into a work of art in its own right."