Beauty Hands, 1983-1986
Size of Print: 80 (h) x 80 (w) cm
Inkjet print, framed work
Edition 1 of 1, exhibited in the 2017 Ballarat International Foto Biennale
Kindly donated by the Robyn Beeche Foundation
Australian-born photographer Robyn Beeche (1945-2015) established her career in London, capturing the vibrant and bourgeoning world of counter-culture in the 1970s and 80s. Renowned for her documentation of the post-punk and new romantic fashion and music scenes during this time, Beeche collaborated with individuals who would become cultural icons. Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, Leigh Bowery and Divine were friends and subjects, all of whom, with Beeche, wished to explore the possibilities of physical transformation.
Initially working with Australian photographer Grant Mudford, Beeche then moved to London to work with renowned photographer Harry Peccinotti in the early 1970s. It was from this time that Beeche began to carve out a niche for herself, boldly intersecting art and fashion photography. During her time in London, Beeche’s striking photographs utilised the body as canvas. Working with makeup artists, designers and models, bodies were transformed, distorted and illustrated upon to create photographs that could be mistaken for paintings or digital manipulations, yet were entirely captured in camera. Featuring trompe l’oeil style painted bodies, Beeche’s surreal photographs immortalised London’s counter-culture world, and inspired artists such as David Bowie.
In a new direction, Beeche began visiting India in the mid-1980s and was transformed by the Indian festival of Holi. Over the next thirty years, during which she permanently moved to the Indian city of Vrindavan, Beeche continued to document the ecstasies and vibrancy of Krishna rituals of the Vraj region.
Beeche’s photographs are held in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Australia, and have been exhibited at RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, 2007; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2007; Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, 2010; Black Eye Gallery, Sydney, 2014, 2015; and NCPA Piramal Gallery, Mumbai, 1995. Established in 2016, The Robyn Beeche Foundation was created to maintain Beeche’s photographic archive, and support emerging photographers through charitable support and cultural exchange.
The BIFB Live Auction Prints are available for pick up from Ballarat Please email us here to schedule a time. Shipping within Australia can be purchased for an additional $50 flat-fee. For international shipping please contact us before purchase.
Robyn Beeche / Beauty Hands
- June 17, 2020