Search

Daughter of Highgate royal photographer paints her father’s famous portraits

PUBLISHED: 11:45 31 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:32 01 September 2014

Jane Swannell's portrait of Andy Warhol

Jane Swannell's portrait of Andy Warhol

Archant

Renowned royal photographer John Swannell has taken shots of some of the world’s best-known figures, including Andy Warhol, Sir Paul McCartney and the Queen.

Jane Swannell's portrait of photographer David Bailey Jane Swannell's portrait of photographer David Bailey

And now his artist daughter hopes to make a name for herself by painting eye-catching versions of her father’s iconic portraits.

Bold, unblinking eyes in familiar faces will stare across a Highgate gallery from Jane Swannell’s striking artworks next week in what will be the painter’s first major exhibition.

Miss Swannell, 32, said her father’s glittering photography career inspired her to pick up a brush from a young age.

The mother-of-three said: “Whenever he makes a book, I get sent a copy and I’ll be flicking through and the faces just jump out at me.

Jane Swannell with one of her portraits Jane Swannell with one of her portraits

“My dad takes a lot of models and beautiful ladies who I don’t find so interesting.

“I’m inspired by the faces, like Andy Warhol’s, that are more lined, by older faces, or not conventionally beautiful.”

Among her collection of intensely vivid portraits are takes on her father’s shots of pop artist Warhol, Belsize Park actress Helena Bonham Carter, Beatles icon Sir Paul and legendary photographer David Bailey, whom Mr Swannell worked under in the 1960s before setting up his own studio.

Lesser-known faces will also feature in the exhibition – namely those of the painter’s three young children.

Born in Highgate, Miss Swannell moved away from the area aged three when her parents divorced.

However, she is very familiar with the village from her regular visits to see her father at his Highgate home.

It is thanks to him that she will launch her first major art show at Highgate Contemporary Art gallery in the Highgate High Street on Tuesday, September 9.

The full-time mum said: “He rang me to say he might be able to get me this exhibition, and I was just so excited.

“The gallery said it was a gamble because they don’t take many portraits so I really appreciate it. It’s a dream come true.”

Miss Swannell has painted since she was a child and studied the discipline at Falmouth College of Art, in Cornwall, and Hastings College of Art, in East Sussex.

She has struggled to win exhibitions in her hometown of Tunbridge Wells, but hopes Highgate’s artistic crowd will take more of a liking to her “dark” paintings.

Her show will run at Highgate Contemporary Art until Sunday, September 14.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch who played in the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz will join other survivors at an event to commemorate this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day at JW3, the London Jewish Cultural Centre,in Hampstead.

10:16

Students from Portland Place School have demonstrated their support for anti-bullying by winning first place in the ‘odd socks day challenge’.

On Monday January 15, the BBC featured the enforcement of council tax in its Inside Out London programme.

January is well underway but it’s not too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Gazette readers this week.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has called for the dismissal of Inner North London’s senior coroner Mary Hassell after a “deeply disappointing” meeting with community leaders to discuss her refusal to respect Jewish burial requirements.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Andrew Dismore AM, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, has added his voice to the calls for the resignation of Inner North London coroner Mary Hassell.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Dinny Hall has designed women’s jewellery for more than 30 years. Described as a ‘little British Tiffany’, she lives in West Hampstead.

PROMOTED CONTENT

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Toni Krok, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, has set up a charity to help people living with the condition and their families adjust to the challenges it brings.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now