On the 2nd of February Black Eye Gallery is proud to present 'Robyn Beeche - A Retrospective' celebrating the extraordinary photographic work of Robyn Beeche whom sadly passed away earlier this year.
The exhibition will present Beeche's documentation of seemingly
opposing worlds: the post-punk, new romantic fashion and music scenes
of 1980s London, and the colour saturated Hindu ceremonies held in the
Indian pilgrimage town of Vrindayan, Uttar Pradesh. Beeche was an active
collaborator of counter-culture personalities Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne
Westwood, Leigh Bowery and Divine with her work being characterised by a
fascination with documenting physical and spiritual transformation.
Robyn Beeche, the native Sydney photographer, who sadly passed away this year at the age of 70, documented seemingly opposing worlds: the post-punk, new romantic fashion and music scenes of 1980s London, and the Hindu ceremonies held in the Indian pilgrimage town of Vrindayan, Uttar Pradesh. Beeche became renowned in London for her ground breaking photos of painted bodies, transforming the body into a canvas and a site of dynamic exploration.
Collaborating with counter-culture personalities Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, Leigh Bowery and Divine, Beeche was drawn to personalities who were fascinated with the possibilities of physical transformation. Employing imaginative makeup and sophisticated lighting, bodies were fragmented, distorted and transformed into sculpture. Regularly visiting India in the mid-1980s at the peak of her career proved life-changing with Beeche settling in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan permanently in 1992. For the next three decades Beeche captured both the serenity and dye-drenching ecstasies of Indian religious rituals. The colour saturated week-long Holi festival in Vrindayan reminiscent of Beeche’s experimental work with makeup artists.!
Anne O’Hehir, curator at the National Gallery of Australia, stated that, “much of Beeche’s work of the 1970s and 1980s sits in its own place between fashion photography and art photography. For me there’s an interesting tension in her work between the image as decoration and the image as portraiture – particularly in the images of famous figures – Leigh Bowery, Sir Roy Strong, Andrew Logan.” ! ! Beeche’s inspiring life story has been told by Lesley Branagan in a revealing documentary film ‘A Life Exposed – Robyn Beeche: a photographers transformation’, which was broadcast on ABC TV June 2013. The film reveals how Beeche, at the center of London’s high fashion world, finds that fame and success are no longer enough and traces her intrepid
move to India to rediscover herself.! ! Robyn Beech is survived by her brother, Geoff and sister, Gai.
More information can be found here: blackeyegallery.com.au