Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an icon Review - Georgina Barkworth

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an icon Review

Being renowned to be one of the most iconic women in fashion in the past hundred years, I had great expectations for this exhibition. In my opinion, this exhibition didn't live up to the hype that engulfed it. Nevertheless it was intriguing and thought provoking.

One thing that stood out related to Hepburn was that she was very well know (and still is) for her photographs being shot using a monochromatic pallet. This choice of colouring (or more correctly lack of) reflected her personality and style with out having to use words. Her style being androgynous, was reflected through the colour contrast of black and white, her being a contrast between male and female. For me this really captured my mind and sent me on a thought process about the relationship between the photographs and Hepburn's personality. 

As the exhibit progresses, it went through in chronological order of her age. This stood out to me as I was able to see Audrey Hepburn's personality progress as she matured. This was shown through the clothes worn, style, angle of shot and facial expression. This stood out magnificently for me, I had never witnessed the transition of personality and age shown through imagery. This was when I began to relate to Audrey as she appeared to be on one hand such a talented actor that everyone aspired to be, yet a beautiful, relatable, down to earth woman also. All shown through photography, which I believe to be a great and rare talent of her photographers.

Although this exhibition was very thought provoking for me, it was too straight line. When I say straight line I mean it was very repetitive. Picture after picture in a black and white frame with the occasional history board dotted around the walls to attempt to break up the repetitive nature of the exhibition. Some may say it was manipulated like that as it reflected her personality. I'm not sure. All I understand is the format was forceful at the start imposing a strong idea, yet by the end a change was definitely needed.

I would definitely advise anyone to see the exhibition, no matter how much or little you understand or love Audrey Hepburn. The thought provoking nature of the exhibition is a unique characteristic of the exhibitions on such an iconic person but I wouldn't be going more than once. 



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