The RADA Centenary Portraits: a veritable ‘who’s who’ of British acting from stage and screen, captured by award winning photographer Cambridge Jones.
Since taking his first ‘celebrity portrait’ only two years ago, Cambridge Jones has quickly built up a respected reputation for photographing the rich and famous. From Prime Ministers to pop stars, Jones’ subjects cannot help but be striking, but his powerful images of them show us these well-known figures in a new light. For The RADA Centenary Portraits, which have been previously exhibited at The Getty Gallery, London and The National Theatre, Southbank, London. Cambridge Jones presents portraits of the great and good from British stage and screen, allowing his feel for dramatic and iconic images really to come into its own.
His subjects include familiar faces such as Alan Rickman, Joan Collins, John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins. Each photograph represents a moment of frozen time in the intimate working atmosphere Jones likes to foster with his subjects. He wants to show people at their most interesting, so by helping them to relax, Jones hopes “we are able to go that much further together creatively”. By employing playful composition and dynamic use of background pattern and texture, Jones creates images that range from the humorous to the poignant, always succeeding in portraying the personality of those he works with. Using high contrast, superbly detailed black and white photos, Jones captures his subjects confidently and with character.
He cites Cecil Beaton and David Bailey as inspiration for his practice. The influence of their celebrated works is evident here in Jones’ photographs, in the cinematic atmospheres he evokes and the sophisticated simplicity of the way he frames images. These timeless portraits offer a welcome relief from the clandestine paparazzi snaps that usually depict contemporary celebrity in the mass media. They represent instead the charisma of their subjects in a stylishly candid manner.