Venetia Dearden's portraits taken at Glastonbury festival will be on display for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery
in April. Since 2004, Dearden has been documenting the music festival and taking portraits in an on-site temporary studio. The 16 photographs on display will include portraits of Dame Shirley Bassey, Lily Allen, Pete Townshend, Leonard Cohen and a selection of festival goers.
The portraits are all shot against a white studio backdrop removing the sitters from the context of the festival. The wellington boots, flip flops and muddy footprints at the bottom of the photographs are clues as to the location of the shoot. The portraits offer a glimpse of the diversity and character of the 150,000 visitors who converge on Glastonbury music festival, now in its fortieth year.
Born in 1975, Venetia Dearden grew up in Somerset next to the festival site and has been attending and working at the Glastonbury festival since a young age. She studied Anthropology at Edinburgh University before a taking postgraduate course in photojournalism at the London College of Printing. Her work was included in the Photographic Portrait Prize in 2006 and 2007, and two of her works are in the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Her photographs have appeared in publications such at Vogue, Wallpaper, Harpers Bazaar and The Sunday Times Magazine and her first book Somerset Stories, Fivepenny Dreams was published by Kehrer in 2008. Dearden also works as a consultant for the charity Photovoice.org and this will be the first solo museum display of her photographs.
Venetia Dearden, Glastonbury - Another Stage will be published by Kehrer in April (£29.99). This hardback book includes 288 colour photographs, a foreword by Michael Eavis and text by Candace Bahouth.
British fashion brand, Mulberry, will be hosting a series of events to coincide with the launch of Glastonbury – Another Stage. Dearden’s photographs from Glastonbury will be displayed at Mulberry’s Bond Street store, London, launched on 18 May, and Milk Studios, New York on 2 June. Dearden will shoot new photographs at Glastonbury this year which will then be shown on www.mulberry.com
and in the Bond Street store.