Black and White Images

February 12 2016

This month’s Creative Review magazine had, as usual, loads of interesting articles, but the one that caught my eye was on the 2016 Pirelli calendar.

Shot by Annie Leibovitz, printed in black and white - it breaks free from the calendars more recent formats. Leibovitz’s aim was to produce images that celebrated female achievement and that were both strong and natural. “I thought of women I admired. I still can’t believe the women who agreed to do it” she said. I’m guessing mutual respect, admiration and knowing they’d be in safe hands played a big part in their decisions to participate in the project.

Leibovitz has a knack or just an innate talent for capturing human depth. These portraits (and her work in general) dig’s deep, capturing souls and external aesthetic. These images don’t disappoint on any level, they’re dramatic, beautiful and strong.

There’s the very obvious, physical strength and boldness portrayed with Serena Williams’ image. But then in complete contrast are the images of Ava Duvernay and Yao Chen – both with similar poses, with direct eye contact, engaging with the viewer - but there’s where the similarity ends. Both portraits project confidence, determination and strength but in their own very personal and unique ways – I love the way each comes across.

I obviously can’t publish any of the calendar photographs but you can see a selection of them here

Black and white images just cut to the chase for me, there’s less room to hide, and so much more depth with portraits.

There were also some really nostalgic and atmospheric architectural photographs at the Charles and Ray Eames exhibition at the Barbican last week – again in black and white. The architectural documentation of their projects is beautifully nostalgic artwork in itself. I’m in awe of their diverse and influential talent – architecture, furniture, graphic design…

I love the Barbican – so took the opportunity to take a few pictures, soak up the atmosphere and get architecturally inspired.

Barbican Inspiration

Image 1: Modernist architectural patterns at the Barbican. Image 2: Barbican inspired new work. ©Sue Jarman

And finally, what made me smile this week? – Well, my sister had a spiritual reading done in which I briefly featured, being described as her ‘wacky sister’. Wasn’t sure if this was meant as a complement but… As there are loads of different definitions of ‘wacky’, but I’m definitely going with the Cambridge Dictionary’s version, someone who’s ‘unusual in a pleasing and exciting or silly way’ – that’s me!!!