Carinthia West - muse to rock icons, model, actress, photographer and writer. All through her career Carinthia has always had a camera at her side capturing intimate moments of her celebrity friends. As ‘Muse’ Magazine wrote, Carinthia was ‘a free spirit, blissfully unaware that she was candidly recording icons and iconic moments of the times’. Or as Ronnie Wood puts it ‘Carinthia took photos while we were getting on with life...’
At sixteen, she was discovered standing at a bus stop on the King’s Road by Beatles photographer Robert Whitaker. Whitaker, who shared a flat with Eric Clapton, opened the door to a world filled with Swinging Sixty’s icons, such as Jimi Hendrix, Marianne Faithfull, and Anita Pallenberg. In 1976 she was chosen by Eric Idle to act in his comedy series ‘Rutland Weekend Television’, and the cult film ‘The Rutles’. She took her Canon cameras on set, and kept a visual diary from then on, photographing those who crossed her path, including George Harrison, Helen Mirren, Carly Simon, and David Bowie, who became her friends and allowed her to photograph them behind the scenes.
For most of the 1980’s Carinthia was in Los Angeles where she acted in TV, film, as well as a play with Anjelica Huston. She worked as style editor for L.A. Weekly and by 1990 had become a journalist and contributing editor for Marie Claire, Harper’s and Queen and Harper’s Bazaar. This led to interviews with personalities including Donald Sutherland, Carly Simon, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, Dennis Hopper, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and John Hurt. However, Carinthia admits ‘It wasn’t until my Godchildren discovered the photographs, negatives and slides in a cupboard and persuaded me to print and exhibit them, that I realised there might be a new younger audience to appreciate the work”.
In 1976, the album cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’ was being shot by the legendary album cover designers Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis at Battersea Power Station. Carinthia took many photos of this, particularly, at the moment when the giant inflatable pig broke free from it’s ropes and floated off….