I was in Cambridge at the weekend to give a piano recital as part of the events marking fifty years of women as undergraduates at King’s College, Cambridge.
As well as playing a concert, I was also there to see the opening of a special exhibition: Fifty Portraits, a major commission for photographer Jooney Woodward, winner of the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize in 2011. King’s had chosen 50 women to represent various aspects of college life over the fifty years. Goodness knows how they made the selection: to be honest, there must have been hundreds of good candidates. But anyway, I was happy to have my portrait in the exhibition. The photos were displayed in the famous Chapel, where the exhibition will stay for a few months, and will then become part of the college’s archive, hopefully to be displayed somewhere around the college itself.
Jooney Woodward shoots using film, not a digital camera, so her subjects have to stay still while the photos are taken. I had imagined that I’d just sit there playing the piano while she moved around the piano taking photos from various angles, but no: I sat at the keyboard with my hands on the keys, but was asked to turn and look at the camera and ‘hold the pose’.
I hadn’t seen any of the photos, not even my own, until I saw the exhibition (see photo of my photo displayed in King’s Chapel). I’m more used to being photographed at the piano while in action, my hands usually a gentle blur and my expression one of involvement in the music. This was a different approach, a stiller, ‘more painterly’ approach, but I liked the result.
Here’s a more close-up snippet, just taken on my phone.