During the research work on Gered Mankowitz’s WOW book, he uncovered a set of original vintage polaroid test prints from his sessions with Kate Bush in 1978 and 1979. These polaroids were created on the day of the specific shoots to test lighting and composition for the sessions. Because these polaroids were produced quickly, Gered could show them to Kate and ideas could be discussed and refined before then committing the shoot to film.
We wanted to find a way to offer these beautiful images to a wider audience at an affordable price, and when we showed Gered a set of enlarged polaroids that we had recently put together for another photographer, Gered loved the idea, and he has selected nine favourite polaroid images to offer to collectors in a souvenir set. The set of nine prints is housed in a 30x30cm/12×12 inch souvenir sleeve, and each of the nine prints included in the set has an image size measuring 25x25cm/10×10 inches on 30x30cm/12 x12 inch heavyweight paper.
In order to produce these enlarged prints from his original colour polaroids (which have an image size measuring approximately 6x6cm/2.25 inches) he first scanned and then painstakingly cleaned the resulting digital files. The prints have then been created from these scans. Because of the nature of the source material, these enlarged polaroid images are of course a little softer than one of Gered’s pin-sharp signed limited edition photographs. Nevertheless, they have a special, ethereal quality of their own and look fabulous in the size offered in this souvenir set.
Sometimes Gered would use colour polaroids to test for a layout that he would then shoot exclusively on black and white film. This means that some of these polaroids represent the only existing colour image from a session. In fact one polaroid image (shown top left in the montage below) shows a very rare shot of Kate in a red ‘DANCE’ sweater. To Gered’s knowledge this was not repeated in the subsequent shoot – in ether black and white or colour, so the polaroid image is unique in that respect. Perhaps a little softer than other polaroid images in the set, we wanted to include this one because of its rarity.
As these are not signed limited editions created from Gered’s original negatives, we are able to offering this set of nine prints, housed in a souvenir sleeve for a very keen price for the complete set.
You can order a set here.