Wednesday, March 07, 2012


To celebrate the third edition of Lucy O'Brien's brilliantly comprehensive book She-Bop, an exhibition of photographs of female musicians taken by 50 women photographers launched last night at The Strand Gallery, 32 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6BP.
The exhibition is selling prints in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer Charity; entry is free and it is open from 11 a.m. till 7,  seven days a week (6 p.m. Sundays).
Carline Coon's wonderful picture of a tousled Ari is there, and some other amazing work (a superb one of Cilla Black looking gamine and gangly while drinking a cup of tea on a sofa, Sade next to Billie Holliday, Adele... so many of them are there!)
Caroline invited me, and we had a good catch-up over a pizza afterwards. Lucy was busy and glowing with excitement; Kerstin Rodgers, once a photographer and now a pop-up dinner party organiser, was there too. I haven't seen her for years and she told me she had submitted a photo she took of me holding a chicken at Vauxhall City Farm in the 1980s; it wasn't accepted but I remember the day very well- we went for a drink at the Vauxhall Tavern afterwards, much to the surprise of several quizzical clones who drifted past at night-club breakfast-time (probably about 3.30 p.m.) dressed in white vests and humungous moustaches.
The picture was published in one of those colourful mags that prints lyrics to songs. Kerstin took some really glamorous ones in her mum's house, too. Rob Diament was there: he used to be a student at the University of the West, and is now running a gallery in Hoxton. It was nice to see him again; he said that some of the songs he's written while at the University had been of TV programmes, and he is thinkingof starting to write songs again. I spoke to a very nice woman who is thinking of writing a book on Playboy magazine. It was a busy and buzzing evening!
Over our pizza, we debriefed. What an honour for Caroline to be part of this exhibition: it is a very unusual and powerful concept that includes both staged and spontaneous photography. Caroline not only documented the people she photographed, but also the spirit of the age, and I am delighted that she has agreed the use of her photograph of Tessa again on the cover of the paperback book.
Go, go, go, give money to the charity by buying the catalogue for a fiver, or if you are rich, but a print for 200 quid!

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