Vanessa Bell was the bohemian Bloomsbury Group darling, who fled her stiff upper-class family an created a new language of visual expression. Patti Smith is the Chelsea-Hotel punk sorceress turned prophet, whose music and poetry remains a rallying cry the world over. This year, on the coat-tails of of a major Bell retrospective, photographs by these two women will be shown side by side. Pairing two rebels who outraged social mores and pioneered unique artistic visions, the Dulwich Picture Gallery presents Legacy: Photographs by Vanessa Bell and Patti Smith.
Both women were keen photographers. Bell took pictures from childhood - and in the show you'll find albums filled with pictures of her family and 'set', which included Roger Fry, Duncan Grant and her sister Virginia Woolf.
Smith has long been beguiled by the Bloomsbury Group - in particular, their retreat, Charleston Farmhouse, where Vanessa Bell lived with her husband Clive Bell and lover Duncan Grant. The house was little more than a shack when they arrived, having fled the strictures of London society. They transformed it, decorating every surface. You'll find photographs of the farmhouse, taken by Smith during her 2003 residence.
The two women took very different pictures - Bell's are sharp and populated by her loved ones. Smith's are vague and quietly nostalgic, leaving you with a sense someone has just left the room. But they speak together of memory, past and present - and the importance of freedom.
|What||Legacy: Photographs by Vanessa Bell and Patti Smith|
|Where||Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Brixton (underground)|
08 Feb 17 – 04 Jun 17, Tuesday - Friday, 9:30 am - 5pm Closed Mondays. Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am - 5pm
|Price||£12.50, concessions available|
|Website||Click here for more information|