Kim Gottlieb-Walker’s iconic photographs of Bob Marley

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On a recent visit to Porto in Portugal I came across this photo exhibition by Kim Gottlieb-Walker. I was not aware of her photography but was fascinated to see her evocative work of Jamaican music artists including the infamous Bob Marley.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s death this May, this exhibition was created to exhibit a range of candid and intimate portraits, including never before seen shots, of one of the most exciting moments in recent musical history with a warmth and intimacy born out of the respect between artist and photographer.

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I felt privileged to see these photographs as they clearly expressed a certain intimacy into the life and work of this iconic artist. It is hard to believe it’s been 30 years since his death and his music still lives on and these photos reflect much of what was happening at that time and captured perfectly by the photographer. Kim quotes:

Kim: “Rather than ‘take’ photos, the process is one of giving. The subject entrusts themselves to me and in return, I respect their privacy and their sensibilities and do my best to capture them at their most beautiful and expressive—a mutual act of giving. On the set, I see myself as a ‘recording angel’ who’s there to document what happens for posterity—a historian more than an artist—capturing the moments worth preserving.”

I enjoyed seeing this small exhibition and found it interesting as I am not yet a big ‘people’ photographer but would like to expand this area of photography in the future – certainly during the OCA module ‘People and Place’!

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