The Altogether by Chris Coekin is a multi-layered body of work that investigates the notion of art, work and struggle. The photographs were produced in a UK factory that began manufacturing copper wire in 1834. The Altogether is concerned with the employees of the factory – the manual workers, the backbone of the production, the people who occupy the workspace. Coekin considered how he wanted to portray them and found his inspiration in the iconography of Trade Union banners. Skilled artisans produced the paintings depicted on the banners, many of which date back to the 19th century. They represent non-classical art that was accessed by the working population. The final images appropriate the poses and stances that the banners portray.
The photographs are reproduced on hand-folded gatefold pages running concurrently through the book including a text written by Coekin. The cover illustration is foil printed and embossed onto cloth, these processes pay homage to the craftsman.