Friday, 30 October 2009


Several years ago I did a book called British Artists at Work, with Italian Vogue and Assouline. I asked Sam Taylor Wood, to be part of 46 Artists I had chosen to represent their community. I asked her if I could photograph her and her studio. Luckily she said yes, and I met her and duly took photographs of her in the original White Cube. Much later I was taken by her then husband, Jay Jopling, to watch a short film she had made, about a Hare and a Peach and you can watch it on this blog. It has stuck in my memory ever since, and without giving the whole thing away, I often think about it. During this period she was in and out of hospitals, for cancer, but still she worked hard. Sam is in the enviable position that all she touches turns out to be a success.(This is Sam Taylor Wood runner up for the Turner Prize). Without thinking about it, Jay was clever, I was dubious looking back on it. I was not crazy about contemporary photographers, although I am one, and not at all sure about the point of short films. I liked the black and white photographers whose knowledge surpassed all the bright new comers from the art colleges.
My hat, however has to come off to her. With lightening speed she has climbed the difficult field of the art world and now the film world with her first film Nowhere Boy, a film about John Lennon's early life. This could have been a dodgy area to go into. Not only are the Beatles famous, but their early lives, so well documented. Sam cleverly dodged this with her very intelligent choice of giving the part of John Lennon to Aaron Johnson, who looked nothing like him. Clever because you forgot about your knowledge and allowed another story to take over. Aaron adds to the memory of John which makes you realise what a tough life he lived. It is a film for Mothers and their sons, and shows a love that surpasses anything else. Back to Sam, congratulations for ending the BFI London Film Festival and for making me understand the backbone of the Beatles, and for showing us all, to keep working at our dreams evan when we hit a brick wall.

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