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Current Exhibitions

Proud Chelsea Exhibition

Reality is a Dirty Word: Photographs by Ken Russell

1st December 2016- 3rd January 2017

Proud Galleries is thrilled to announce ‘Reality is a Dirty Word’, a captivating look at post-war London through the lens of one of the country’s greatest filmmakers, Ken Russell. Russell’s unique and candid photographs of 1950s Britain capture significant moments of humour and pure humanity during a time of adversity and when the future seemed uncertain. This unique exhibition of original prints signed by the late Ken Russell is a candid insight into lost London through the eyes of one of Britain’s most exuberant characters.

Russell was a fearless eccentric who went on to make ground breaking works as “the wild man of British cinema”. But prior to earning his iconic status as a film director, Russell forged a career as a photographer in 1951, photographing humorous scenes which were in stark contrast to the austere feel of post-war recovery. For six years his work appeared regularly in publications such as Illustrated Magazine and Picture Post. Sometimes poignant, occasionally surreal and frequently funny, Russell’s photographs capture all the irreverence and unconventionality of outlook that would characterize his work as a filmmaker.

Throughout his time as a photographer, he used his cinematic eye to create mini-dramas out of ordinary mundane moments. Speaking of his work, Russell said, "In a way I was making still films. Some of the photographs were catch-as-catch-can, but I learnt the value of the perfect composition.” Russell’s lens lends itself captivatingly to scenes that range from the everyday to the wholly bizarre, including men on penny-farthing bikes, a landlady in Hyde Park breaking archaic regulations, children dressed in adult’s clothes and a dancer wearing an upturned hip bath like a tortoise shell.

Russell would capture everyday scenes he encountered, producing some of Britain's most significant records of street life during the aftermath of the Second World War. These quiet portraits are an unexpected and exceptional historical record, documenting the fashions, the cultures and most importantly the people during this shifting time, including a series called The Last of the Teddy Girls, which feature a group of girls who rejected the new post-war feminine fashions and instead took on a more androgynous look. There is a surprising innocence to Russell's photographs, where he used bomb-sites as backdrops to his scenes, capturing children climbing walls and mischievous boys clambering through fences in their makeshift playground.

Proud Chelsea will showcase an exclusive collection of rare, signed prints which embody the rebellious and quirky nature of Russell and reveal both the attitude and innocence of 1950’s youth. ‘Reality is a Dirty Word’ will exhibit Russell’s last signed body of work, illustrating a beautiful and honest insight into the repercussions of World War Two in Britain.


Proud Camden Exhibition

40 Years of Punk: Photographs by Adrian Boot

3rd November- 22nd January 2017

Emerging in the US in the 1970s as a product of the ‘60s countercultural movements, the punk subculture spread across the globe like wildfire and evolved into many forms and musical sub-genres over the years. Influencing bands and musicians to this day, the early days of punk had a massive impact driven by the constraints of society, with unemployment, racial tensions and social upheaval providing fuel for their fires.

With the launch of the revolutionary CBGB in New York and bands like the Ramones and Blondie advocating the New York scene, punk was exploding into London, where the emerging style and attitude was very much a product of British youth culture. Loved and hated in equal measure but impossible to ignore, it was during the summer of 1976 that the movement gained notoriety as The Damned, Sex Pistols and The Clash were beginning to ignite the imagination of the disenchanted youth amidst the social unrest of 1970s England.

This exhibition will showcase photographs of The Clash taken in 1977 at the infamous Rehearsal Rehearsals studio, Stables Market where Proud Camden resides, marking a true homecoming for Adrian Boot’s photographs of the band who heralded the birth of independent music through revolutionary punk style and attitude. This collection visually captures the ethos and raw spirit of the punk heyday, revealing the bands that led the distinct cultural shift of the most incendiary era in music history.

Proud Camden celebrates a revolution, whose repercussions and reverberations of cultural change nearly 40 years ago continue to increase in significance today.


Future Exhibitions

Proud Chelsea Exhibition

Bowie by Duffy

6th January - 5th February 2017

Proud Galleries is delighted to present ‘Bowie by Duffy’; a celebration of the dynamic relationship between two of the centuries greatest artistic innovators. This exhibition of original prints signed by the late Brian Duffy is a moving insight into the minds of two exceptional creatives in partnership between 1972 – 1980. Duffy’s iconic images emphasise the longevity of Bowie’s distinctive persona and offer a poignant retrospective to one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times on the anniversary of what would have been his 70th birthday and his untimely death.

Beginning his career as a fashion designer, Duffy’s eye for detail and design transposed into his work as a photographer in a compelling and unique style. His photographs were published in numerous magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, creating some of the most memorable images of celebrities and fashion from the 60’s and 70’s. Determining the face of the era, Duffy enraptured the nation with a creativity that characterised him as redefining documentary fashion photography.

Eclectic and influential in creating Bowie’s chameleon-like image, Duffy worked with the singer over a period of eight years, conducting five photographic shoots that produced some of the world’s most memorable images, including the acclaimed Aladdin Sane album cover now referred to as the ‘Mona Lisa of Pop.’ The iconic image is now instantly recognised worldwide and defines Bowie’s career as a musician. The photographs from these creative sessions are a unique and stirring documentation of the changing faces of Bowie as the pair worked together to reinvent his image time and time again across the decade.

Proud Chelsea will showcase the last remaining signed collection of Duffy’s photographs of David Bowie, a compilation which embody the artistic eye of the photographer and Bowie’s unique innovation and influence. ‘Bowie by Duffy’ will be a tribute to a musical innovator, cultural icon and a legend of revolutionary music, art and style.