Photographer Pennie Smith (perhaps best known for her photography of bands including The Clash, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin), will be using a street in W10 as a huge portrait album, showing a number of beautiful works that capture ‘the makers’ of the carnival at various Notting Hill locations.
Smith’s black and white images, shot on a Pentax camera, were all captured in July this year as preparations got underway for this year’s Carnival, the 47th in its history.
Among the unsung heroes celebrated in Smith’s shots are jerk chicken stallholder Adrian Luckie, who uses his great-grandmother Mother Charlotte’s secret recipe, passed down for generations.
We also see DJ Norman Jay, who celebrates his 31st Carnival this year. He says, ‘It’s the most important gig for me because it’s a shared cultural experience where everyone is welcome.’
Shot in black and white, the amazing costume of Spanish dancer and choreographers Rosaria Gracia looks just as incredible. She cites that fact that ‘Nothing is weird. It’s where the weird becomes the norm’ as the reason for her love of Carnival, which she’s been attending since 2000.
We also love this image of philanthropic Phil Legg, who opens his house to Carnival-goers every year and blasts music from his Futureproof Sound System out of his living room windows.
‘Since “finding” Ladbroke Grove a considerable time ago, I’ve had a big soft spot for this area, especially at Carnival time’, says Smith. ‘So when I was approached to photograph some of the people who do the often unseen, hard work that pulls the carnival together, I was more than pleased to be able to document them, and show the corners that make Notting Hill home to them at Carnival time.’
The exhibition will be situated on the corner of Portobello Road and Lancaster Road, London W10, throughout carnival from 26 – 27 August and online at www.redstripe.net