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Radical Women

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Start Date:16th March 2013
End Date:9th June 2013
Radical Women

Renowned photographer offers intimate perspectives on the lives of entertainment and fashion icons including Marianne Faithful, Vivienne Westwood, Helen Mirren and Beth Ditto.

Including previously unseen photographs of cultural icons, pictured in moments of often unguarded, emotionally-charged intimacy, Developing: Photographs by Mary McCartney, a new exhibition of the photographer’s work shows at The Lowry, Salford between Saturday 16 March – Sunday 9 June 2013.

At the heart of the exhibition is a series of images that provide a window into the lives of world’s most influential, recognisable and often radical women including Tracey Emin, PJ Harvey, Joni Mitchell, Gwyneth Paltrow and Vivienne Westwood. Working with some of the fashion industry’s most prominent designers and from assignments with publications including Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, the portraits featured in Developing provide a glimpse of the inspirations, histories and personalities of her subjects.

After growing up in a creative environment surrounded by the work of her parents, Paul and Linda McCartney, Mary’s responses to a wide variety of subjects can be as spontaneous as they are studied - whether they are dancers backstage at The Royal Ballet or a model pacing a Paris catwalk. Musicians Björk and Morrissey – one of the few men featured in the show - are captured mid-performance and designer Stella McCartney is caught ‘paparazzi’ style getting into a waiting car, calling on Mary’s natural instincts and reflexes to capture a fleeting moment.

Perhaps the best demonstration of the personal investment McCartney’s puts into her work is a striking image of Beth Ditto, singer with American rock band The Gossip. Having established their working relationship by directing the video for the band’s single Melody Emergency, the photographer then captured the performer naked apart from a bed sheet, putting the vivacity of Ditto as a person and performer first and her physicality second.

Combining trust and creative chemistry in order to disclose her subject’s passions and inspirations is a common thread throughout McCartney’s work. From picturing Turner Prize-winning artist Tracey Emin dressed as Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo to The Pretenders singer and animal rights activist, Chrissie Hynde lying side-by-side with a beloved pet cat, they are images that seem unlikely without McCartney’s affinity with the person in the frame.

Michael Simpson, The Lowry’s Head of Visual Art and Engagement, said: “The Lowry has been home to a remarkable range of artists and performers over the years – some of whom are featured in this exhibition. Mary McCartney’s uncanny radar for charismatic subjects, anonymous or famous, means that this is a powerful selection of some of her best work”

Developing is a newly curated exhibition, drawn from Mary McCartney’s extensive career. Opening during Greater Manchester’s ‘Radical Women Month’, the exhibition links with special events taking place at galleries and theatres across Salford and Manchester in March, celebrating the role of women in social, political and cultural movements throughout history.

Venue Map

Venue - The Lowry

Address:Pier 8, Salford Quays
Salford
Greater Manchester
M50 3AZ
England
Phone:0870 787 5780

Images from Radical Women

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