The IMAGES community was saddened to learn of the death in August this year of Robyn Beeche. Robyn’s photography was the subject of the 2009 IMAGES monograph, written by Stephen Crafti, entitled Robyn Beeche: Visage to Vraj. This colourful retrospective introduced me and many others to the life and work of this Australian photographer who “discovered a new world" when she ventured to London in the 1970s.
Elaborate make-up, body paint, props, and costumes distinguished her work as unique at that time as she made a name for herself, not only from her toils for perfection in the creative workshop of her London studio in Thurloe Square, but also as she camped elbow-to-elbow among the photographers packed beside the runway shows there and in Paris.
After developing a real love for the colours and culture of India on many visits, she moved there permanently in 1985, settling in an ashram in Vrindavan, 160 kilometres south of Delhi.
Knowing that Robyn had photographed Adam Ant amidst the counter-revolutionary years of the London clubbing scene, I suggested that we use for the book's subtitle “from Ant Music to Ashram”. However, Robyn preferred instead an alliteration on “Visage” feeling that it captured much more of the London scene that she knew before she made the ashram her permanent and spiritual home. And so, the subtitle "Visage to Vraj" came to be, and with three simple words, we were able to capture the journey of her remarkable and adventure-filled life, and with it catch a glimpse of the wonderful, and often exotic, company she kept.
You can read the obituary written by Anne O’Hehir that appeared online in The Guardian on 8 September 2015.
Of the Robyn Beeche we came to know, we remember her great kindness and gentleness, the generosity of her spirit, and the immense passion that she displayed for her work throughout the production of the book, and we see it again, captured frame-by-frame for time evermore, when we look at the extensive oeuvre of her artistry that so enriches our own cultural existence.
Joe Boschetti | Vice President | The Images Publishing Group