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Norman ‘Normski’ Anderson was born in Northwest London in 1966 to Jamaican parents. He was bought his first camera by his mother at an auction when he was nine years old. His interest in photography was partly inspired by the black British filmmaker and photographer Horace Ove, as he was childhood friends with his son Zak. In 1985 he studied photographic laboratory skills at Kingsway Princeton College in Clerkenwell, London. He then worked at a number of photographic studios while still in his teens and became a freelance photographer at the age of 18.

He was part of the emerging hip hop music scene during the 1980s and adopted the nickname ‘Normski’ whilst on a trip to New York. His involvement in the music culture led him to photograph hip hop artists and fashions for publications like The Face, i-D and Vogue, whilst also creating publicity photographs for the musicians themselves. Normski worked as a DJ and television presenter for programmes like ‘Dance Energy’ on BBC 2 in the early 1990s, during which he took photographs of the visiting artists. In the 1990s he began to exhibit his work and collaborated with the retailer Four Star General to recreate hip hop looks for the V&A exhibition ‘Streetstyle, From Sidewalk to Catwalk, 1940 to Tomorrow’ (1994-5).


Normski, 'Cynthia M Prescod (Mum) at Home in Primrose Hill, London, 1986'. Museum no. E.108-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'Cynthia M Prescod (Mum) at Home in Primrose Hill, London, 1986'. Museum no. E.108-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'African Homeboy - Brixton, London, 1987'. Museum no. E.110-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'African Homeboy - Brixton, London, 1987'. Museum no. E.110-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'She Rockers (London/Rap/Dance Crew) Shepherds Bush Green, London, 1988'. Museum no. E.112-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'She Rockers (London/Rap/Dance Crew) Shepherds Bush Green, London, 1988'. Museum no. E.112-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'Islam B-Boys - Brixton, London, 1987'. Museum no. E.111-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'Islam B-Boys - Brixton, London, 1987'. Museum no. E.111-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Normski, 'Black Police Officer - Camden High Street, Camden Town', 1984. Museum no. E.107-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'Black Police Officer - Camden High Street, Camden Town', 1984. Museum no. E.107-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'David Prescod (Step Father) at home on his break, Primrose Hill', 1986. Museum no. E.109-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'David Prescod (Step Father) at home on his break, Primrose Hill', 1986. Museum no. E.109-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Normski,  'Silver Bullet Posse - The Lloyds  Building, London, 1989'. Museum no. E.113-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Normski, 'Silver Bullet Posse - The Lloyds Building, London, 1989'. Museum no. E.113-2012. © Normski/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Audio: Oral history

Norman Anderson Normski discusses his photograph of 'Cynthia M Prescod (Mum)

View transcript of video

A gift in your will

You may not have thought of including a gift to a museum in your will, but the V&A is a charity and legacies form an important source of funding for our work. It is not just the great collectors and the wealthy who leave legacies to the V&A. Legacies of all sizes, large and small, make a real difference to what we can do and your support can help ensure that future generations enjoy the V&A as much as you have.

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