In June 1987 the DPA asked Shirley Baker to undertake a one-day commission. Shirley made a number of suggestions on topics which were of interest to her and had potential interest for the DPA. We agreed to proceed with work on Manchester Airport, concentrating particularly on the experience of the passengers using the airport.
The idea of the one-day commission was devised to increase the number of new accessions into the contemporary collections of the DPA. The work was not intended to result in an exhibition. One-day commissions were offered at the same time to Shirley Baker and Ged Murray (see c5) in the nature of an experiment to see how they would work.
Shirley was selected because the DPA liked her work and had enjoyed working with her on the exhibition "Here Yesterday and Gone Today". We felt that Shirley gave considerable value for money - a belief that was further confirmed by the outcome of this commission.
The work was undertaken in July and August 1987 - peak months for tourist passenger travel at the airport. The work resulted in 547 black and white negatives (35mm) and 38 colour negatives (35mm). Shirley supplied 72 black and white prints and 12 colour prints with the commission.
Shirley's work on this project was featured in a Granada Television programme on the work of the DPA. This programme was broadcast as part of their "Celebration" series on Friday 23 October 1987.