Geoff and I ventured to Wapping on Sunday for the second day of Women: New Portraits. We were well rewarded for our expedition by a good, free coffee outside the exhibition courtesy of UBS, who is sponsoring the exhibition.
The Wapping Hydraulic Power Station was last in use, as a power tation, in 1977 and has been an artts venue since then (though certainly not steadily). It must be a challenging venue to use as an exhibition space because the windows are large and very high and the light in london is variable, and tending towards white, which washes out all the colour!
The exhibition is set up in 2 separate areas. The smaller area is a collection of Annie Liebowitz books laid out on a long, beautiful dining table surrounded by luxurious dining chairs. The second area is bigger and combines 2 large screens and a number of printed photographs.
The 2 screens slowly flip through photographs taken by Liebowitz. The images are lush, rich, highly textured and even in black and white the images aren't stark. Unsurprisingly all the photographs are of women - some famous, some unrecognisable. All the images tell an aspect of the story of the subject, and they span the life of Liebowitz's career.
One of my favourite images is of the Williams sisters, clearly in the beginning of their careers. The image is black and white, and has no background. The sisters appear strong and driven, wearing beaded braids in the hair and sleeveless shirts, showing their strength Liebowitz truly captures their ambition and drive - a compelling story to reflect back on years after the image was originally captured.