Tuesday 21 January 2020

The world through Mary's eyes

McCartney girl's shots of the stars on display

Bairbre Power Fashion Editor

SHE was the cute baby tucked inside her dad's leather jacket -- a casual family snap which became an iconic record cover.

Beatles fans rushed to buy Paul McCartney's first solo album and his daughter Mary's baby photo ended up in millions of record collections around the world.

Forty years on, Mary McCartney has become a photographer like her late mother Linda, who took that photo of proud Paul as a first-time dad in 1970. Yesterday Mary opened an exhibition of her work at Kildare Village shopping outlet.

The mother of two returns to Ireland next month to be a celebrity judge in the Most Stylish Lady competition at the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Derby in the Curragh on Sunday, June 27.

The winner's prize includes a €3,000 shopping spree at Kildare Village, plus a portrait photograph taken by Mary, whose celebrity 'sitters' have included her fashion-designer sister Stella as well as actress Helen Mirren -- one of her "scariest commissions, because it was one of my first pictures as a professional photographer back in the 1990s," Mary said.

The Kildare Village exhibition -- Mary's first in Ireland -- includes photographs which previously hung at the National Portrait Gallery in London and pieces from her exhibition 'Off Pointe: A Photographic Study of the Royal Ballet After Hours', an insight into the private world of the elite Corps de Ballet.

The exhibition at Kildare Village includes photographs of her father going on stage with Bono and U2 at Live 8 in 2006 and artist Tracey Emin dressed as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, which Mary says is one of her favourites.

"My mum gave me a little 35mm Leica camera when I was in my late teens," Mary said. "She always had a camera on her. She made it look quite easy and it was part of our everyday life."

Linda died aged 56 from cancer in 1998, the year that Mary married. "I still have that camera my mother gave me," Mary said. "It reminds me of her, so I love to use it."

While Mary occasionally uses a digital camera, she confesses she loves going to a job with her Leica and a bag of film.

"There is always the excitement of getting the contact sheet back and going through them. It's a bit like that Christmas-morning feeling. Will it be as good as I want it to be? Did I capture something I didn't realise?"

The exhibition is free and runs until 31 July.

Irish Independent

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