Lena Proudlock's 'Carnival in Rio, 1978'

When asked to name great photographers few of us can list more than David Bailey, Annie Leibovitz and David La Chapelle.

But, tucked away in a rainy corner of Marylebone, a pop up exhibition of Lena Proudlock's 'Carnival in Rio, 1978' is changing that.

This simple exhibition offers great, honest photography in a refreshingly unfussy setting. A selection of bold, giant prints, created in collaboration with Douglas Villiers, hang in the mock industrial Imitate Modern gallery on Devonshire Street.

Each carefully curated image offers a glimpse into an age before sexual self-consciousness from a culture celebrating sexuality and the body beautiful.

Daring, provocative and spontaneous each image hints at stories which the energetic and welcoming Lena was happy to tell.

'Rio Bikinis' for example, is a glorious beach shot featuring six beautiful women in an array of masks, lingerie and bikinis.

Lena approached and asked the group to pose and, in doing so, creating arguably the greatest picture of the exhibition and one proudly displayed in Lena's own home.

To the back of the gallery, 'The Big Leap', is a dreamy blue watercolour, starkly interrupted by an ecstatic leaping boy.

When asked, Lena pensively recalled that maybe she asked him to run and leap into the frame, she couldn't be sure. The memory may fade but the image is eternal.

'The Big Leap' also features on the peruvian cotton t-shirts designed as part of Lena's son, Oliver Proudlock's, Serge DeNimes clothing range.

The Made in Chelsea stars clothing line, was the other element of the exhibition, the wearable element. Downstairs, in a velvet boudoir, guests were invited to buy their own prêt-à-porter t-shirt homages to Lena's photography, whilst sipping on the quirky elderflower soda stream cocktails.

It may have been April showers outside, but it was Carnival '78 at Imitate Modern.

Twitter: @sdnimes


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