Italian photographer Guido Harari spent a stint as Kate Bush’s official photographer and has collected some of his best images spanning 10 years in a new limited edition book. He’s shared some of those snaps with us, providing commentary for each one.
The Kate Inside, Kate Bush photographed by Guido Harari 1982-1993 is published on September 1 and is available to pre-order now. There will be an accompanying exhibition from 13-30 September 2016 at Art Bermondsey Project Space.
Our marathon photo shoots would last over 12 hours and it’s really hard to keep your stamina for such a long time. Since Kate wouldn’t use props on the set, we had to come up with some techniques to keep us amused and busy. So I suggested to Kate we could experiment with multiple exposures. We were still shooting film then. First we worked with the backdrop textures, then I would work with two Kates in the same frame, daring to add three before Kate got bored and asked to move on to the next set. She loved the results though. This is one of my favorite images of her.
It was my work with Lindsay Kemp that impressed Kate so much and triggered our collaboration of over ten years. It was a dream come true to be able to photograph Kate and Lindsay together on the set of her film “The Line, The Cross & The Curve” in 1993. She had certainly progressed immensely since her first classes with Lindsay at his Dance Center in Covent Garden so many years before. Kate asked to shoot a fly on the wall kind of reportage, no restrictions. Lindsay immediately picked up on my idea of shooting Kate taking a nap, no make-up and curlers in her hair. He was dressed up as the Madman and without a word he proceeded to go wild silent movie-style. Kate kept on sleeping, which made it all even funnier.
Again, another example of our experiments with multiple exposures. The swirling texture of her kimono inspired me to try some “atmospherics” that worked really well. I call this photo “Kate Klimt” because it reminds me of certain textures in Klimt’s paintings.
When you work as a photographer on a film set, you’re always in the way of somebody. I did my best to be invisible while trying to capture not only some wonderful portraits, but also the life on the set, the crew, the actors, dancers and musicians. You have to remember that Kate had stopped performing live in 1979, so this was a unique opportunity to capture her in various modes: in performance and backstage, during breaks, etc.
Kate was to shoot a video of her “Rubberband Girl” song from “The Red Shoes” album for the film. She practiced for a while with a giant trampoline, jumping as high as she could and having the time of her life, like a little kid in an amusement park. This photo was taking during the rehearsal of the song.
Kate’s beauty is unquestionable. She radiates in virtually every photo I’ve seen of her and she rarely needed any retouching. But up until the film “The Line, The Cross & The Curve” I’d never had a chance to take candid shots of her. It felt very organic to be able to capture her natural beauty with no make-up and while she was not posing. This one was taken during a break while she was going over some detail with her director of photography Roger Pratt.
“Kate with wings” is a “Frankenstein” image. The basic portrait comes from the 1989 photo shoot for “The Sensual World” whereas I photographed the raven wings a few moths ago. I had this idea that the book “The Kate Inside” should feature some new creations, or “illusions”: images that I would probably shoot now with Kate if I had the opportunity. So I created this montage which fits perfectly the book’s title.
This photograph was taken very early in the morning on our shoot for “Hounds of Love” in 1985. In the Eighties shoots would build up in terms of clothes and make-up, ending with some theatrical excesses that would often be ruled out by either the artist or his/her record company. So on that day we started with very casual clothes and little posing. Kate wanted me to capture some authenticity and not turn her into an icon. It was a very interesting and unexpected lesson of “less is more”.
In the book I’ve chosen to present my photos of Kate in the same order they were taken, giving an idea of how moods would shift from one set to the other. Kate did not appear to be that concerned about fashion and she arrived to the studio with an odd selection of outfits that would help her to transform (or pretend to trasnfrom) into this or that character. I loved this scarf although it was way too big for her and I love her smile and dimples.
This is Kate performing “The Red Shoes” in her film “The Line, The Cross & The Curve”. It was very funny and surreal to see her arrange a bed of plastic bones and skulls on which she would later dance by herself and with two devils. When she eventually did, she transformed into a wild fury, but during breaks she would turn very shy and silent.