Richard Billingham was born in Birmingham in 1970 and began taking photographs of his family as source material for paintings, which were subsequently exhibited as artworks in their own right. Constituting an intimate portrait of the artist’s life, at once tender, funny and melancholic, his work portrays a certain humour and intimacy, counterbalanced by an apprehension of time passing. His exhibition at Ikon Gallery in 2000 included a significant number of photographs that had never been shown before, images displayed in this publication, in several full colour sequences as well as a fold-out four piece insert. Of particular note amongst these are a collection of earlier black and white photographs (1990-91) and a selection from a more recent series focusing on diverse urban landscapes (1992-97). Billingham’s work is essentially concerned with the impossibility of closing gaps, both temporal and emotional. His photographs taken in the West Midlands town, Cradley Heath, for instance, depict places that have become stuck in his memory since childhood. In a comic yet insightful set of short explorations, a ‘glossary’ by curator Michael Tarantino completes this publication. In it, the author guides us through the recurrent symbols of Billingham’s photography, providing explanations for objects such as The Fish Tank and Alcohol & Cigarettes, as well as more conceptual issues including Public Space/Private Space and Poverty.