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London Burlesque

London Burlesque

A Family Album

By (artist) Angus Stewart


Publishing 12th Dec 2022
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    • First book by Angus Stewart, a London-based photographer with a focus on social documentary photography and portraiture
    • Stewart’s photographs capture the energy and camaraderie of the London burlesque club scene, depicting not just the activity on stage but the cast of characters that supports it
    • Includes eight gatefold pages
    Full Description

    Angus Stewart has spent 10 years backstage with London’s burlesque community, getting to know the performers and documenting their shared world to create what he calls ‘a family album’. From the beginning, his focus was on the personalities, rather than the performances. He deliberately eschews the ‘big reveal’. Instead, his photographs capture the friendships, the laughter and the camaraderie that characterise the burlesque scene. We are introduced to a thriving community that values dedication and loyalty, and where the exotic is always laced with humour; and we hear from performers Rara Avis, Belle de Beauvoir, Cerise Rei, Lady Cheek, Lady May, Lynn Ruth Miller and Vixen Victoire. Burlesque can be provocative, it can be political, and it can be serious. But it can also be a lot of fun.

    ‘I discovered that while some performers earn a living from burlesque, most have other jobs – anything from seamstresses to doctors, to company directors. This huge melting pot of professional experience, coupled with a variety of reasons for wanting to perform, means that personal development is encouraged. It’s an incredibly supportive community, and I wanted to try to capture that spirit.’ – Angus Stewart

    About the Author

    Angus Stewart is a London-based photographer, whose focus is on social documentary photography and portraiture. He has worked closely with the circus, burlesque and cabaret communities in London, getting to know the performers, photographing and interviewing them. His aim has been to depict not just the performance on stage, but also the life behind the scenes, and the highs and lows of the artists.

    Recent work has included photographing grass roots activists in London and Salvador in conjunction with the UCL and UFBA, ‘Rights to The City’ project, and he is currently engaged with the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDIHub), a global charity that aids the development of participatory projects in informal settlements. He is also working on a personal project, ‘With Love Jeannette’ – a collection of found documents, photographs, and new images related to events from the early-20th century – which addresses the fragmentary nature of history and knowledge and the continuity of human experience.

    Circa Press
    Publish date
    12th Dec 2022
    250 mm x 200 mm
    144 Pages
    56 b&w
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