Don McCullin: new Tate retrospective of legendary photographer’s work includes iconic Cyprus photo

He is described as “one of the greatest documentary photographers of our time.” Earlier this month, a major retrospective of Sir Don McCullin opened at the Tate Britain in London.

This exhibition showcases some of the most impactful photographs captured over the last 60 years. It includes many of his iconic war photographs – including images from Cyprus, Vietnam, Northern Ireland and more recently Syria.

The Cyprus Conflict was McCullin’s first taste of war. He was commissioned by The Observer to cover the fierce inter-communal battle that had broken out at the end of 1963, and travelled to the island in 1964. He arrived in Gaziveren, a Turkish Cypriot coastal village in the northwest, as it was under attack.

The photojournalist was present just as Nevcihan Oluşum was told that her husband Hüseyin Niyazi Hasan had been killed by Greek Cypriots. He captured the moment the woman tries to make sense of the devastating news, with relatives trying to comfort her and Mrs Oluşum’s distraught young son Kubilay reaching out his hand to his mother.

The heartfelt image brought the photographer his first award: the World Press Photo of the Year in 1964.

The Tate retrospective also draws on the images McCullin captured closer to home, recording scenes of poverty and working class life in London’s East End and the industrial north, as well as meditative landscapes of his beloved Somerset, where he now lives.​

About Sir Don McCullin

He was born in 1935 and grew up in a deprived area of north London. He got his first break when a newspaper published his photograph of friends who were in a local gang.

From the 1960s he forged a career as probably the UK’s foremost war photographer, primarily working for the Sunday Times Magazine. His unforgettable and sometimes harrowing images are accompanied in the show with his brutally honest commentaries.

With over 250 photographs, all printed by McCullin himself in his own darkroom, this exhibition will be a unique opportunity to appreciate the scope and achievements of his entire career.

Event Details

Title: Don McCullin

Date: Tuesday 5 February 2019 to Monday 6 May 2019

Opening Times: 10am to 6pm daily

Venue: Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG

Admission: Adult £18 (£16 advance booking); Concession £17 (£15 advance booking); Family child 12–18 years £5; Under 12s FREE (up to four per family adult); and FREE for Tate Members.

Tickets: book online from the Tate Britain.


Main photo, top: Cyprus 1964 © Don McCullin, on display until 6 May 2019 at the ARTIST ROOMS as part of Tate Britain’s Don McCullin exhibition.