Sunday, 2 August 2009

'Rankin Live' private view @ The Old Truman Brewery- 30th July

Earlier in the week I had the great pleasure of being on the guest list for the private view of Rankin Live at the Truman Brewery , E1. Needless to say for the entire week I was beside myself with excitement as I am obviously a MASSIVE fan of Rankin’s work, so much so that I spent the evening people watching as I didn’t feel I quite had enough time to pour over the hundreds of iconic images on display from Rankin’s extensive back catalogue.

Upon entering the exhibition space I was met with several huge warehouse sized rooms which were all painted white (as you’d expect) and were covered with a variety of Rankin’s best portraits. Trying to explain the vastness of the exhibition seems fruitless as the scale was unimaginable however suffice to say that 600 of his most famed photographs were on show, which is staggering as this does not include the images from Rankin live which are yet to be created and added to this monumental project... Just incase its still not clear how large the space is; it took about ten minutes after entering to wander around the maze of beautiful images and locate the place where it all happens; the bar!!

Once alcohol had been located and myself and my friends reunited, it was a great and rare opportunity to be in a room with hundreds of cool art kids and trendy fashion types simultaneously. After an impromptu reunion with an old friend, the gorgeous Iraina Mancini, everyone seemed to be heading away from the bar area towards the main exhibition room. As we moved closer I could see that a small stage had been set up complete with a microphone and a chair so I waited to see what would happen along with everyone else. A few minutes later out popped the man of the hour himself, John ‘Rankin’ Waddell and introduced his 12 year old son Lyle to the stage. Rather randomly Lyle began to sing acoustic covers of his favourite songs in what was obviously his natural singing voice; a rather sexy raspy sound (if I may say that about a 12 year old boy).

At first I must admit I was dubious to say the least as I don’t think anyone was expecting to listen to Rankin JR’s music that evening, but after a couple of songs everyone (myself included) got rather into it and the whole thing was very endearing for both proud father and son. A favourite was when he sang a song he’d penned himself which really showed his outlandish personality and was quite frankly hilarious. Between swear words and wistful observations (none of which have stayed with me due to prolonged beer consumption that evening), he came across as much older, wiser and cynical than his years and I feel that he is definitely a personality to watch out for in the future.

When the music ceased (due to Lyle’s loss of voice) Rankin popped back on stage to literally thank us for coming and that was that. The crowd dispersed and you could see the famed Tuuli (Rankin’s favourite subject and wife) congratulating Lyle and it was a really unexpected tender family moment that was lovely to see- and interestingly I think others must have felt similarly about the series of events as everyone kept a respectful distance.

With the main attraction over I threw myself into the party and spotted a few celebrities in attendance such Erin O’Connor, Nathalie Press, Sadie Frost, Amber Rose and a very dapper Jefferson Hack. The rest of the evening was a merry affair spent chatting with strangers and having a really great time. It was the kind of evening that you only get when you throw a bunch of crazy creative types together at let’s face it; one of the world’s premiere celebrity fashion photographer’s parties.

Among the great people I befriended were Levi, flanked by two lovely ladies (see below) - one of which unknown to me I would meet again a month later at the Junky Styling book launch (you’ll notice I am yet to write about this as I’m still struggling to find the words to describe just how dull a launch that was...) The other lovely lady (pictured below) was entertaining a few of us by balancing a pineapple within her hair, and the louder we laughed the more interest we attracted and let’s just say there weren’t enough pineapples to go around. Before you ask, I have NO idea where the pineapples came from! See below for other shots of the crowd...Before I left (one of the last to go I’m afraid) I made sure to grab a copy of Ranked which was an exhibition catalogue, come Rankin fountain of knowledge which was published exclusively to accompany this great exhibition. I would highly recommend visiting to all and if you haven’t applied to take part in Rankin live: Get involved!
Rankin Live is showing at the Truman Brewery, Brick Lane until 18 September.
Logo courtesy of Rankin Live website.

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