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David Bailey exhibition to go on show in Edinburgh

Stunning images on display at the exhibition will include Mick Jagger. Picture: Getty

Stunning images on display at the exhibition will include Mick Jagger. Picture: Getty

  • by BRIAN FERGUSON
 

He has been one of Britain’s most celebrated fashion and celebrity photographers since he helped kickstart the Swinging London scene half a century ago.

David Bailey has captured iconic images of the likes of Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, David Bowie, Jerry Hall, John Lennon and Jack Nicholson.

Now the biggest exhibition of his work will go on show in Edinburgh after being secured by the National Galleries of Scotland.

It will span more than 50 years of work created by the 76-year-old Londoner, who shot to fame after being hired by British Vogue magazine to capture the booming fashion scene in the city in 1960.

More than 250 portraits, including an entire room devoted to The Rolling Stones, will go on display at the Scottish National Gallery on The Mound during the Edinburgh Festival in 2015.

They have been personally selected by Bailey, who will visit Edin- burgh next summer, and also feature his famous muses Jean Shrimpton and Catherine Dyer, actor Sir Michael Caine, actress Catherine Deneuve, artists Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol, rock star Bob Dylan and the late South African president Nelson Mandela.

The show, Bailey’s Stardust, will be coming to Scotland after it is staged at the Portrait Gallery in London, which is due to launch the exhibition today.

As well as his famed portraits of the rich, glamorous and famous, the exhibition will highlight Bailey’s canon of travel photography, including work captured in Australia, India, Papua New Guinea, as well as his famous photographs of the famine in East Africa for the Band Aid charity in 1985.

Born in 1938, Bailey was from a working-class back- ground in East London. He left school aged 15 to work as a copy boy at the Fleet Street offices of the Yorkshire Post, and joined the RAF when called up for National Service in 1958.

He worked for British Vogue for 15 years where he revolutionised fashion and celebrity photography in Britain and was said to have directly inspired the 1966 film Blow-Up, which charts the day in the life of a photographer.

Although many of his best-known works feature in the exhibition, Bailey has allowed many others to go on public display for the first time.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are said to be his images of his native East End of London, portraits of people visiting his studio who he asked to photograph naked and his “powerful meditations” on birth and death featuring striking images of skulls and pregnancy.

Christopher Baker, director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, said there had been more than a year of talks with the gallery in London before the deal was done to bring it to Edinburgh.

He was in London earlier this week for the star-studded preview of Bailey’s Stardust, which he described as a “landmark exhibition”.

Mr Baker said: “We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to bring it to Edinburgh for next year’s festival season.

“The fantastic thing is the entire show has been personally curated by Bailey.

“A lot of the work is iconic and familiar, but others will simply not have been seen by anyone before.”

Bailey’s Stardust will be in Edinburgh from July-October next year.

 

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