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Street Exhibition Celebrates The ‘Makers’ Of Carnival

One of the world’s best known rock photographers has teamed up with Red Stripe® to turn a street in W10 into the ultimate Notting Hill Carnival portrait album.


Pennie Smith, who has worked with Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Clash and many others, has collaborated with the Jamaican lager beer brand to celebrate the Londoners who ensure the Carnival takes place each August Bank Holiday. Using a Pentax camera and shooting traditional, high quality black and white film, Smith has created a series of unforgettable images of ‘the makers’ in situ at various Notting Hill locations throughout July as they prepared for the 47th Carnival.


Her subjects include:

-          Adrian Luckie, whose famous ‘Mama’s Jerk Chicken Station’ stall still uses his Jamaican great-grandmother’s secret recipe, passed down for generations;

-          Mick Johnson, the Carnival’s longest serving copper, who has witnessed an amazing and intense thirty two years of sights, sounds and steel drums;

-          Caribbean born Bert Clement, a TFL station supervisor, who describes the Carnival as “Life. Where people come together to live.”

-          Lionel McCalman, leader of the Nostalgia Steel Band, the UK’s original ‘traditional’ steel band. He sees the Carnival as a “two-day fantasy where people can step out of reality.” And if Lionel looks familiar, it’s because he was leading the band at the Olympic Opening Ceremony!

-          And finally, the infamous DJ, Norman Jay MBE. This year marks his 31st Carnival along with his famous ‘Good Times’ sound system. ‘Good Times’ has become a mini-carnival itself, attracting an estimated 15,000 revellers a day. Norman Jay MBE said of the project: “The Notting Hill Carnival means a huge amount to me; it’s the ultimate inclusive celebration, bringing together people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities… It’s been a pleasure to work with Pennie and I’m looking forward to seeing the photographs lining the streets of the Carnival.”

Each person was chosen by Red Stripe® for their commitment to, passion for and practical involvement in London’s favourite annual street party.


The photos will be displayed during the event on specially commissioned wooden boards erected to protect shops and windows. Situated on the corner of Portobello Road and Lancaster Road, the images will provide a striking backdrop to the Carnival’s colour and energy.


Pennie Smith’s stunning portraits will line the streets of W10, highlighting the Notting Hill Carnival’s heroes. Commenting on the project she has said:

“Since ‘finding’ Ladbroke Grove a considerable time ago, I’ve had a big soft spot for this area, especially at Carnival time. ‘Frendz’ (Underground magazine) launched my ‘career’ documenting bands and made me appreciate the hard work being on the road and behind the scenes involves. So when I was approached to photograph some of the people who do the often unseen, hard work that pulls the Carnival together, I was more than pleased to be able to document them, and show the corners that make Notting Hill home to them at Carnival time.”


Catch the exhibition during the Carnival on the corner of Portobello Road and Lancaster Road, W10.

The exhibition will also be available to view at http://www.redstripe.net/.

Follow Red Stripe and Taylor Herring on twitter.


Ann Bartholomew

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