photographic index

ba digital photography london south bank university

Nell Broomfield Morris

vonnie-debrett1.jpgvonnie-debrett2.jpgvonnie-debrett3.jpgvonnie-debrett4.jpgvonnie-debrett5.jpg

Title: Vonnie Debrett
Artist: Nell Broomfield Morris
Type: Inkjet Photographic Print
Date: May 2007
Measurements: 106cm X 70cm
Description: Lead singer of new post punk band The Debretts.
Reinterpretation Girls Subcultures Box by Anita Corbin Held at London South Bank University
Location: London South Bank University Digital Photography Dept
ID Number: PI-RGSB-NBN0001-NBN005 Licensing: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England

My collection of five photographs are based around our given title “Girls subculture”. I will first explain what subculture is and how it would particularly apply to women, then go on to point out how my photos illustrate the given title.

A subculture is a group of people with set ideas, fashion sense, and taste in music. The actual word ‘subculture’ implies that this group of people are below or outside the cultural norm of society. Relating this specifically to women we may first think of females on the outside of the society however this is not necessarily the case. As you will see through my photos, my model not only is an integral part of society but has the ability to influence through her music.

I decided to use a singer as my model because her taste in music would be integral to her style on stage, which demonstrates the subculture she is part of. I chose a rock/punk singer as this is more my scene and something I can identify with, if for example I chose ‘RnB’ I wouldn’t know any of the music or what style of photograph to take that would coincide with the genre. Therefore, I set out to find a female singer with an unmistakable style which illustrated her subculture. I began going to various gigs in Camden town, a place famous for rock musicians to begin their career. Finally, I found myself a singer; London based Vonnie of the DeBretts. The DeBretts have already been heralded by “Artrocker” magazine as ” ones to watch, the four piece, post punk folk art rockers are set to storm into the indie pop scene with their infectious blend of “Blondie” cool, “sex pistols” urgency and “Yeah yeah yeahs” standing. The live shows have become somewhat of a legend and it is here the DeBretts prove their worth as the most exciting new band in the U.K. Whilst Vonnie the lead singer, jumps, screams, sings, kicks, wails and climbs for the post punk generation the rest of the band provide possible the most intense background you are likely to hear. The DeBretts fly without a safety net at every gig as any audience member will testify.

I decided to take Vonnie’s photos while she was in stage makeup and costume, which illustrates the outer and visible culture she is part of. In doing this, I hope to have shown that she is a rock singer and that my photos in someway capture her music.

The first picture I took shows a confident, seductive pose that illustrates Vonnie’s character on stage. She is self assured and sassy and looks like the typical rock star image. In this photo her makeup is perfect and I was careful with the editing so that she too looked perfect and almost doll like, to fit her image.

In my second photograph although Vonnie again is posing in a seductive way her eyes tell a different story. They lack the self assurance and confidence of my first picture, And it is easy to see there is an entire subculture within Vonnie that is totally separate from the subculture she is part of.

The third photograph shows yet another strong, independent, sassy Vonnie. I like the way she almost has her back to the camera, again reassuring the audience of her confidence and power within her subculture. The head piece she is wearing gives the photo a formal yet fantasy edge which further shows Vonnie’s character on stage.

The fourth photograph is by far my favorite. I feel it captures both the on stage Vonnie and the Vonnie beneath. I refrained from over editing and like the fact that her lipstick is not perfect as this shows that even though she is an idolised rock star she is also an average girl with emotions and worries.

The last photograph is a lot like the second photo, which shows both the outer and inner Vonnie. I felt it was important to show Vonnie’s persona both on and of stage and I believe this photo captures it. Although she is posing in a confident form, her eyes again tell a different story, of a girl who can relate to any other woman.

Ultimately illustrating a subculture through the medium of photography is very difficult and challenging. Although I would say it is impossible to show a subculture when taking a picture of one model, as each person is part of a wider subculture which in turn is part of a larger culture. However I hope each individual picture I have taken shows Vonnie for who she is and the subculture she is part off.

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