Colin Jones was a dancer with Royal Ballet when he discovered his love for photography and before his photography became famous for documenting diverse facets of 20th century social history. Whilst still touring with the ballet company he took many photos of his colleagues on and off stage. His affinity with the world of dance continued after he left he ballet and became full time photographer.
In 1975 and 1978 Colin Jones worked in Jamaica. On both occasions commission for feature magazine articles took him there. His photos of the indigenous Ganja culture provide a fascinating portrait of the Rasta community at a time of unrest and political instability in the country. In the past the Jamaica photos haven't received the same attention as Colin Jones's best know photography of the industrial north of England or the Black House series.
The Black House
In 1973 Colin Jones was commissioned by the Sunday Times to produce photographic illustration for an article about a community project for young black men in Islington. Colin Jones recalls this as one of the most difficult assignments. It took a lot of time and patience to gain the trust of the community leader Herman Edwards who eventually allowed Jones inside the dilapidated halfway house on Holloway Road for.
The initial assignment grew into a much bigger project. Over a period of three years Colin Jones went back to the house producing a compelling eye witness collection of photos of what at the time was a ghetto in London on the fringes society.