Behind the scenes of circus life: portraits by Peter Lavery

Fifty years of circus portraits by Peter Lavery are compiled in a new book, published to coincide with 250 years since the ‘invention’ of the modern day circus

A certain enigma surrounds circus life and the characters who live it. An enigma photographer Peter Lavery was particularly taken up by. So drawn in, in fact, that he has spent the last 50 years documenting circus folk of Britain. 

He started way back in 1968, and his pet subject has kept him engaged ever since. “I became fascinated by the world of circus, by the way of life and by the brutal beauty of the characters. It is a passion that has remained with me to this day,” explains Lavery. 

 

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