King of the Buttons

‘It was never supposed to make that noise’

Derek Bishton- ‘Handsworth Self Portrait: 40 Years On’

March 22nd, 2019


In this podcast James Sandy talks to Derek Bishton about 'Handsworth Self Portrait: 40 Years On' an exhibition presenting original photos taken from a studio on Grove Lane, Handsworth, Birmingham in 1979.

Passers by were invited to take their own photograph, passing them the shutter release so they could control the decisive moment of how to present themselves and when they were ready for the picture to be taken.

More than 500 people stopped by to take part in this ground-breaking ‘Selfie’ project - some alone, some with friends or family, some striking formal poses, others being more playful.

Derek Bishton, Brian Homer and John Reardon : Handsworth Self Portrait: 40 Years On runs at the Arena Gallery, MAC Birmigham from Saturday 23rd March until Sunday 2nd June 2019. Admission is Free.

There is an Opening Event of the exhibition on Saturday 30th March 2019 and A Talk with Derek Bishton on Sunday 2nd June 2019. For more details visit:

Instagram: handsworthselfportrait

This podcast was written and presented by James Sandy and is A King of the Buttons Production 2019. The interview forms part of the March edition of 'The New Curiosities Box' on Switch Radio (scheduled to broadcast Tuesday 26th March @7pm) 107.5 FM, DAB & Online.

Title music: 'Café connection'(excerpt) by morgantj (c) copyright 2009 and licensed under creative commons.

Image: Stephen aka ‘Steppers’ from Handsworth Self Portrait (1979) © Bishton, Homer & Reardon appears with kind permission and is copyright of the artists. All rights reserved.