Untitled (Rays A Laugh 43), first, 1995

Richard Billingham took photographs of his family in their Birmingham council flat while at art school. The photographs were originally intended as studies for paintings. However, when he exhibited them as works in their own right, they quickly brought him to the attention of the art world. The resulting body of work, entitled Rays a Laugh, was included in Charles Saatchi’s “Sensation” exhibition alongside Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. And in 2001, as a results of these works, Billingham was nominated for the Turner Prize. Rays a Laugh has been praised for its lack of condescension. The photographs are a unique and highly personal document of working-class identity in Britain, and an honest look at the life of Billingham's family.