Fashion face-off

An exhibition of photographer Robyn Beeche's work provides a rare glimpse of the under-ground scene in London, in the '80s, through a series of prints that combine fashion, art and theatrical effects


The photographs taken by fashion photographer Robyn Beeche in the '80s, in London, have a surreal feel to them. The photographs -- taken prior to the digital era -- highlight the brilliance of the photographer, as well as the make-up artist.

1984 Oriental face, (Extreme left) 1986 - Torn Mask

"There was no computer or Photoshop at that time," says Robyn, adding, "The face was our canvas and we created illusionary effects using make-up and body paint."

Vivienne-a look for the 80s arrows

Robyn's creative experimentation made her one of the most renowned and sought-after photographers at the time. The photographer has worked extensively with artists and designers including Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes, Leigh Bowery and Mary Quant.

"The '80s were about dramatic costumes and historic make-ups. It saw an exploration of creative expression in music, dance and the arts arts," she says.

The effects created in the photographs were done using make-up or props like mirrors. "I want people to look at a photograph twice. If you see a photograph with an eye open, look closer, it may be an eye painted on a closed eyelid. And if you see a photograph with shadows, the shadows may be actually painted on the face," she says.

The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, has a collection of 50 of her photographs, documenting the transition of London during the 1980s. An Australian by birth, Robyn has made her home in Vrindavan, India, since 1992.

Over the last 15 years, Robyn has been taking photographs of the festivals and culture of Vrindavan with the aim of documenting the prevalent culture. "By showcasing my photographs, I want to pass on the techniques to young photographers," she shares. "These photographs are timeless and have been universally accepted," she adds.

From: Tomorrow
Till: December 7
At: Gallery BMB, Queens Mansion, Ground Floor, G.T. Marg, Next to Cathedral (Middle) School, Fort.
Call: 61715757

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