The images in this post have been selected around the themes of sitting at a dressing table, looking into a mirror and applying makeup.
Firstly here are a couple of portraits I took of my mother from a project I did at college in the late 80s:
In the next photo I appear in the frame, gazing into the mirror observing her putting on makeup at her dressing table:
The earliest photo I can think of on my collection that features a dressing table is a photo my father took of me when I was about 3 or 4. It was taken in our old house in Stamford Hill and I am posing with a hairbrush in hand:
So I suppose we were a “dressing table” kind of family. When we moved to Finchley when I was five years old I inherited some of my parents’ old bedroom furniture which included an elaborate wooden dressing table with curved legs. I held onto that furniture for a long time, and it accompanied me through teenage years and was still in situ after I left home until my father died. Below is a portrait of my good friend Maureen looking into its mirror, probably early 80s:
This is a self portrait at the same dressing table which at that point was bedecked with masks and beads, My paintings appear in the background:
Nowadays I don’t have a dressing table in my bedroom and use the bathroom cabinet mirror to apply my make up. I was toying with the idea of finding the perfect dressing table for a while and found one I really loved in Brighton, but decided it took up too much space. The photo was taken by my friend Alicia in 2010:
Next up are some behind the scenes pictures of former and current members of the London Lucumi Choir applying make up before performing. Below is Katja backstage; we are sharing a crowded changing room with women from other choirs – I think this may have been Voicelab at the Southbank Centre, 2010.
Cuban singer Martica Galarraga and musician Sara McGuinness getting ready backstage at the BBC Choir of the Year contest, 2008
Singer Sonia Sonayon:
Singer Juanita Euka on Parliament Hill:
More women and mirrors – this is a surreal one of me and my cousin Vered in her bathroom mirror in New York:
And here’s a picture of the supremely elegant potter and ceramic artist Elzbieta Stanhope who I used to notice when I taught at the Hampstead Institute. Here she is in the ladies loos wearing her protective white work gear, 2009:
And finally a couple of photographs I took at my niece’s wedding in July in Penrith. The bride Catherine and her bridesmaids putting on their makeup before the ceremony:
For more pictures of behind the scenes with the London Lucumi Choir see my project.