Photo London: Pavilion Commission ‘Off Pointe’ by Mary McCartney


With the fifth edition of Photo London at Somerset House comes its annual Pavilion Commission Programme. With the support of The Royal Photographic Society, Sea Containers London, and Metro Imaging, this exhibition takes the theme of Women in Photography, featuring the work of three very different women photographers – Rachel Louise Brown, Susan Meiselas, Mary McCartney – whose work will appear on the sides of the main Pavilion in the central courtyard of Somerset House.

Metro has worked with artist Mary McCartney in working through her archive and producing high resolution scans from her seminal series ‘Off Pointe – An in-depth Photographic Study of the Royal Ballet After Hours’, part of which is in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

The photographic work is focused on discovering those rare moments of unguarded and emotionally-charged intimacy, captured from within the ballet dancers; offering new insight to the subject, behind-the-scenes as they prepare for performances at The Royal Opera House.

“I wanted to reveal unseen aspects of the world of ballet, showing the ups-and-downs, the prestige and the chaos of life behind-the-scenes at the Royal Ballet. I was particularly interested in the contrast between the sometimes gruelling, painful lifestyle of the dancers and their fairy-tale performances… I wanted the photographs to dispel many myths about the life of dancers and show the real-life effort they devote to come across as the poised perfection played out on-stage.” -Mary McCartney

Photo London, 16th-19th May 2019
Somerset House, WC2R 1LA
For more details & opening hours, click here.

All images courtesy of © Mary McCartney