Search

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

11:45 31 August 2014

Jane Swannell

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 BaileyJane 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 portraitsJane 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.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

12:00
Last Night of St Jude's Proms with The London International Orchestra conducted by Howard Williams & soloist Victoria Simmonds

The illustrious Proms at St Jude’s festival drew to a crescendo finish last weekend following a week of literary talks and orchestral concerts.

06:58
Suzie Wright

Popular dance teacher Miss Wright, who “lit up Hampstead with her smile” was found hanging in her bedroom at a flat above the historic pub hours after telling friends she planned to end her relationship with landlady Elaine Loughran, her partner of three and a half years, and find a new home.

12:00
Highgate Nursing Home resident Tina Gounaridou, Islington's deputy mayor Kat Fletcher and manager Carol Quinn at the opening of the garden of poetry and song

A care home has officially opened its new garden filled with poetry and songs written by its residents.

07:17
The lost Budgie, saved from the jaws of a cat, with  13-year-old Carmel

A family is searching for the owner of a bird they rescued from the jaws of their cat.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder