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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Re: Kim Campbell's "bare shoulders"

CampbellPeter, I found some background on the suggestive and seemingly inexplicable photo of former Prime Minister, then Justice Minister Kim Campbell. It's from photographer Barbara Wooley's coffee table book Portraits: Canadian Women in Focus. Here's her explanation of how the photo came to be:

I wanted to photograph Kim Campbell with her cello," says Woodley. "She explained to me that several pictures of her with her cello had lready been taken. Nevertheless, to oblige me, she went downstairs to get ready to do the cello photo. She had wanted to wear her Minister of Justice robe, which at that time—in 1990—she had just received. She had brought the robe with her. It was on a hanger with the cellophane from the dry cleaners. I had explained to her that I couldn't take that photo because I'd already taken a picture of Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin wearing her robe. As I was setting up, I saw the robe on the hanger with the plastic around it. I thought perhaps she could hold the robe in font of her.

"The bare shoulders was entirely my idea. She agreed to it because she has some artistic sense. She knew having a blue blazer and pearls and a scarf behind a black robe wouldn't work. It would take away the simplicity and strength of the robe. We both wanted to create a strong simple portrait emphasizing the robe in front and the woman behind it. Getting the robe into the picture was what was most important to her all along. 

As to why it's hosted on the Library and National Archives of Canada website, well, it is pretty interesting and of historical note I suppose. Still very odd though. 

Posted by Kalim Kassam on July 15, 2010 | Permalink


It's odd because it's uncomfortable.

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2010-07-15 10:11:14 PM

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