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Pinky

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    London (photographed)

  • Date:

    2001 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Baptiste, Jennie, born 1971 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    C-type print

  • Credit Line:

    Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

  • Museum number:

    E.970-2010

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case COS, shelf PHO

Jennie Baptiste’s photographs explore fashion and style as expressions of black British identity, often with a focus on music culture. She was born in Northwest London in 1971, after her parents moved to the city from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia in the 1960s.

Brixton Dancehall Queen Pinky adopts an elaborate style to mirror her personal image using adornment, clothing and interior decoration. Her extravagant appearance is linked to trends within dancehall music culture. Dancehall developed as a music style in Jamaica during the late 1970s, offering slower rhythms than reggae music and greater focus on the dance hall as a space for performance, especially dancing. It is known for its salacious lyrics, suggestive dance styles and revealing outfits worn by women. Although sexually provocative, the dance styles and clothing adopted by dancehall participants can also be seen as empowering forms of self-representation.

The V&A acquired four photographs by Jennie Baptiste as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.

Physical description

A colour photograph of a black woman with bright pink hair reclining on a pale pink leather arm chair in a room with pink walls and a pink furry rug. She wears a variety of pink items including a pink jewel encrusted bikini top with yellow butterfly detailing, pink hoop earrings, a short pink skirt, pale pink lace up high-heel boots, bright pink socks and matching jewel encrusted pink cuffs and a necklace. She also has pink eyeshadow, lipstick and nail varnish on.

Place of Origin

London (photographed)

Date

2001 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Baptiste, Jennie, born 1971 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

C-type print

Dimensions

Height: 50.8 cm image size, Width: 40.64 cm image size

Object history note

The V&A acquired this photograph as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Jennie Baptiste, 'Pinky', C-type print, London, 2001

Labels and date

Baptiste's photographs explore fashion and style as expressions of black British identity. Here, low-slung jeans and flaunted designer labels are shown alongside the colourful, hand-embellished costumes associated with Ragga, a form of reggae music. Both styles show off the body, highlighting the wearer's masculinity or femininity. Two of the photographs capture the movements of a woman dancing to Ragga music, while the more static portrait of a woman named Pinky shows how personal style can extend to interiors as well as dress. [83 words] [2011]

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

C-type process; Photography

Subjects depicted

Identity; Pink (color); Femininity; Domestic interiors; Fashion; Black female

Categories

Photographs; Hair and hairstyles; Women's clothes; Fashion

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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