photographic index

ba digital photography london south bank university

Richard Wyatt

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Title: …
Artist: Richard Wyatt
Type: Inkjet photographic print
Date: 2007
Description: …, London. Completed May 2007. Made in response to Anita Corbin’s photographic series ‘Visible Girls’, Girls Subcultures box held at the London South Bank University, London. A series of 3 images.
Subject: …, subcultures
Measurements: …x…
Location: London South Bank University Digital Photography Dept
ID Number: PI-RGSB-RW0001-RW003
Licensing: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales, Richard Wyatt c/o London South Bank University, Digital Photography Course, UK

Anita Corbin 1981 ‘Visible Girls’ archive is very much centred on the music culture at the time. Fashion conscious, the youth wear in the style of their favoured music scene to get ‘the look’. Iconic items of clothing are associated to the particular type of style; for example, skinheads would wear Fred Perry polo shirt, braces, rolled up jeans and Dr Marten’s boots. ‘Kath and Em’ photograph ‘at home in Putney’ really demonstrates the skinhead culture at the time. The two young women are dressed in the recognisable style, whilst the background, (the bedroom) display posters of the leading bands at the time i.e. The Specials. This photograph like the rest of the series effectively draws together all the surrounding attributes of the skinhead culture and displays in a way that is instantly recognisable. Ideas I can use in my own work, in effectively reinterpreting the GS box.

Youth culture today is somewhat the same as it was back then; still fashion and music play a major contributor. However the role of ethnic identities has bought about new underground sounds into the present mainstream and a big example of this is Hip Hop. Today it is one of many cultures; items of clothing i.e. hoodies are worn and associated with the certain ‘gangster’ lifestyle via lyrics in songs, music videos and films.

I began my research by looking at music photographers; this led me to Dean Chalkley. His work at (http://www.deanchalkley.com) shows the current up to date crop of artists within their own diversely styled music scenes. His work made me think a lot on what style to pick? and effectively, how to shoot it? I went away with thought about a style that would stand out and was happening right now. The band, The Towers of London (http://www.thetowersoflondon.com) has a punk/rock sound and dress sense to match, with their platinum blonde glam rock hair to their dirty white skinny jeans I instantly grew attached to the whole image. Today the ‘skinny jean’ bands are at the height of youth culture, i.e. The Horrors and CSS.

Influenced by the punk/rock movement I decided to take a look back at the iconic bands like The Sex Pistols and The Clash, as I wanted to see where and how it all started. The ‘Great Rock N Roll Swindle’ a DVD all about The Sex Pistols helped a lot in understanding and potentially in correctly photographing the mood and ‘don’t care’ attitude into my images.

A combination of current punk/rock fashion trends, this includes the skinny jeans, converse and vest, I added the Clash/Pistols/Specials style trilby hat, leather jacket, chains, etc for the early British rock look. All that was left was the location having decided not to shoot in the studio I wanted to capture the late 70s London – Camden area, brick wall background shot. This would suit the overall image especially with the basic black and white colour clothes being worn.

In conclusion I feel I have successfully reinterpreted Anita Corbin ‘Visible Girls’ photographic series in a way that uses old and new ideas of youth culture from the past to present. Although I feel one image would be strong enough, I think my series show an easily identifiable style of what the youth are wearing, listening and acting like in today’s society.

One Response

  1. hello richard,

    funny the internet isn’t it i was just rolling round it and i came across your project

    i’m glad that my pictures made you consider stuff….

    ok well i just thought i’d say good luck and all that…

    dean

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