Past exhibitions - Future exhibitions
Hugo Rittson Thomas
'The Queen's People'
19th August to 19th Seotember 2015
Eleven is pleased to present 'The Queen’s People,' photographs by Hugo Rittson Thomas. 'The Queen’s People' is a compelling photographic portrait of the British monarchy and those who sustain it. The project offers an exclusive insight into the traditional dress codes and pageant of our nation – while also giving a captivating sense of the living characters behind the royal and ceremonial regalia in a never before seen environment. His most recent portrait of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall will be debuted in the exhibition.
The project includes an exploration of formal dress worn by members of the military, livery, palace, parliament, clergy and peers in a formal reflective studio setting. Unlike anything that’s been done before, the subjects were placed in a corner of mirrors, and positioned in a way that reflects multiple angles and views of their dress all at once. The contemporary nature of the series is highlighted by the use of four different simultaneous angles of view. The isolation of the subject in a neutral background, and the dignity and poise of the simple full-length portrait, reinvents traditional court portrait painting. Inspired by masters such as Diego Velázquez, Antonis Mor, and Irving Penn, Rittson Thomas’s dark backgrounds highlight the rich and vibrant cardinal reds and gleaming gold of the regalia. The resulting portraits are modern and offering a rare up close glimpse into the traditions, dress, and people of the British monarchy. Although formal and technically exact, Rittson Thomas’s portraits are nuanced, and reveal much of the personality of the sitters.
Through being granted privileged, personal access by the Queen and Royal Household, Rittson Thomas has photographed not just his esteemed sitters, but also their priceless and rarely seen ceremonial uniforms. The beauty and craftsmanship of these garments is eclipsed only by the magnitude of their history and tradition, and the ceremonies that are linked to them.
Hugo Rittson Thomas was born in 1956 and lives and works in London. Rittson Thomas is one of the UK’s leading portrait photographers. He studied at Central St. Martin’s and Goldsmiths University of London and took part in the landmark exhibition 'Temple of Diana' alongside Tracey Emin at The Blue Gallery (1999). He has worked extensively as a producer and director of television and film including directing the BAFTA award winning series 'Network 7' and the award-winning documentary 'The Totter.' In 2011 he started working on a photographic series entitled 'Creatives,' documenting a number of high profile individuals including: Ron Arad, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Kylie Minogue and artists Gilbert and George.
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