Pennie Smith, a photographer who has shot Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Clash and and more teamed up with Red Stripe® to create a collection of images showing the people right at the heart of the 47th Notting Hill Carnival this August Bank Holiday weekend.
The resulting exhibition, able to be viewed online shows the Londoners who ensure the Carnival takes place each August Bank Holiday, ‘The Makers’. All images are taken on Pennie Smith’s Pentax camera in black and white film.
Pennie’s subjects include everyone from a tube station manager and a police commander, to a steel band leader and a jerk chicken stall holder. Each one was chosen by Red Stripe® for their commitment to, passion for and practical involvement in London’s favourite annual street party.
You can see the resulting collection of images displayed during the event on specially commissioned wooden boards that are usually erected to protect shops and windows during the event and you can find them on the corner of Portobello Road and Lancaster Road.
Pennie Smith said: “Since ‘finding’ Ladbroke Grove a considerable time ago, I’ve had a big soft spot for this area, especially at Carnival time. ‘Frendz’ (Underground magazine) launched my ‘career’ documenting bands and made me appreciate the hard work being on the road and behind the scenes involves. So when I was approached to photograph some of the people who do the often unseen, hard work that pulls the carnival together, I was more than pleased to be able to document them, and show the corners that make Notting Hill home to them at Carnival time.”
The Makers include:
1. MICK JOHNSON, POLICE COMMANDER. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 1980.
Mick is Carnival’s longest serving copper. He’s witnessed an amazing and intense 32 years of Carnival’s sights, sounds and steel drums. His passion for the community is so strong, he describes it as “a part of, not apart from”. Raise a Red Stripe to Mick if you see him, for it’s his last ever Carnival.
2. LOUISE FORSTER, LONDON SCHOOL OF SAMBA. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 2009.
Project manager Louise and her team organise the school’s Carnival float and performance despite not having an office to work in. Arranging the production keeps busy bee Louise rushing around all year, often pulling all nighters for the samba cause.
3. ADRIAN LUCKIE, MAMA’S JERK CHICKEN STATION. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 2010, ATTENDEE FOR MORE THAN 15 YEARS
Adrian’s stall, the famous ‘Mama’s Jerk Chicken Station’ still uses his Jamaican
Great-grandmother’s secret recipe, passed down for generations. Adrian loves Carnival, has been coming since he was 16 and is extremely proud he’s able to share his heritage and roots through Mama Charlotte’s delicious recipes.
4. BERT CLEMENT, TFL STATION SUPERVISOR. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 1993.
Caribbean born Bert is as passionate about Carnival now as when he first started working at Westbourne Park station nearly two decades ago. Mild-mannered Bert describes Carnival as “Life. Where people come together to live.” And the party starts when he opens up a special staircase only used during Carnival.
5. PHIL LEGG, OPEN HOUSE / FUTUREPROOF SOUND SYSTEM.
MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 2003.
Musician, producer, promoter and Carnival ledge, Phil has lived around Notting Hill for nearly 30 years. Phil loves Carnival so much that every year he opens up his house to revelers and the Futureproof Sound System plays tunes out of his living room windows. Check out his garden, Lilly Allen once played there.
6. LIONEL MCCALMAN, NOSTAGLIA STEEL BAND LEADER. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 1988.
Lionel leads the Nostalgia Steel Band, the UK’s original ‘traditional’ steel band founded in 1965. To Lionel, Carnival is all about coming together to celebrate different cultures in a “two-day fantasy where people can step out of reality.” And if Lionel looks familiar, it’s because he was leading the band at the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
7. ROSARIA GRACIA, DANCER/CHOREOGRAPHER. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 2000.
Whilst Spaniard Rosaria has sambaed her way around the world, Carnival will always hold a special place in her heart. The light and love, cultural diversity, and playfulness are what Rosario loves most about Carnival. “Nothing is weird. It’s where the weird becomes the norm.”
8. NORMAN JAY MBE, DJ. MAKER OF CARNIVAL SINCE 1980.
This year marks an amazing 31st Carnival for the legendary DJ and his famous ‘Good Times’ sound system. “It’s the most important gig for me because it’s a shared cultural experience where everyone is welcome.” Laid-back and modest despite enormous worldwide success, ‘Good Times’ has become a mini-carnival itself, attracting an estimated 15,000 revellers a day. Total legend.
The exhibition will also be available to view at www.redstripe.net.