Charlie phillips

How Great Thou Art

Art needs you!

Charlie Phillips is a 70-year-old London based photographer whose art marked the London’s African Caribbean community. He started documenting their lives in 1960 when a Black American Gl gave him his first camera. As a young boy, he waited until all of the tenants that used the communal bathroom had gone to bed before processing and printing his own photographs in the bathtub. Several years later, Charlie still never owned a digital camera.

His lifetimes work “What is How Great Thou Art?” is a sensitive photographic documentary of the social and emotional traditions that surround death in London’s African Caribbean community. Its shows different type of funerals attended by Charlie, and it explores the changes in the practices over time; From the disappearance of bodies lying on dining room tables, to the establishment of black funeral directors and the booming business of burying and celebrating the dead.

People such as Paul Goodwin, Dr Micheal McMillan, Will Bank, Eddie Otchere, and Lizzy King are currently working on beautiful book that would gather all the pictures from Charlie’s lifetimes series.

However, art isn’t cheap to make, and it might be impossible to give birth to this project due to a lack of funding. Let’s not let this happen! You have until the 4th of August to help them obtain their objective of £7,650 on their kickstarter campaign.

If they get to their goal, a book on “What is How Great Thou Art?” will be printed and will be able to survive in libraries, bookshelves and classrooms for years into the future, revealing the currently untold story of how the African Caribbean community established new traditions for life and death in London.

Moreover, if their targets are exceeded they will be able to donate copied of this book to libraries and community centres so that everyone can easily get a hand on it.

So come on, and give generously. This is not only a gift to a great photographer, but also to the community he has lovingly documented.