lauramcphee:

Girl Holding Kitten, London, 1960 (Bruce Davidson)

Bruce Davidson’s Best Shot

I found this young woman quite by accident, as I was walking the London streets. I came upon a group of teenagers, and struck up a conversation. They took me into a cave, and then some kind of huge dancehall. I think it was on an island. It was getting late, and I needed to move on the next morning, so I didn’t stay very long.

But I isolated this girl to photograph, holding that kitten, which was probably a stray she had found on the street, and carrying that bedroll wrapped around her body. There was a great deal of mystery to her. I didn’t know where she had come from, and I didn’t get her name, but there was something about that face – the hopefulness, positivity and openness to life – it was the new face of Britain.

The picture was taken with a normal 50mm lens, with a wide aperture. I used the Ilford film, called HPS – hyper-sensitive film – which I loved, although it is probably no longer made. I loved that grainy texture; she has the feeling of a statue.

I still feel close to this picture. I wonder what that young girl is doing now. She must be lurking around London someplace, or she may not be alive, you never know.”  (Guardian UK, 2007)

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