Royal Pavilion Museums Brighton & Hove: Fashion Cities Africa 2016


The brief: Fashion Cities Africa 2016

Fashion Cities Africa Phase i

My architectural background has given me an awareness and understanding of the place I’m in at any given time.  I recognise the features of buildings in relationship to each other and the city.  This understanding gives me a considered backdrop in which to place my sitter, the person being photographed, in order to create their relationship with the place around them.

Fashion Cities Africa is the perfect combination of people contextualize by place in relation to their contemporary identity. Having initially photographed people and designers in the four African cities of Casablanca, Lagos, Nairobi, and Johannesburg, African contemporary, the project turned to Brighton’s reputation as a City of fashionistas.

Phase i of the photoshoot was to take place in December in studio, with an invited general public, at Brighton Museum’s Art room, a space with a large East facing 3 metre window, giving the room a degree of natural light, this light would last until early afternoon.

1st fashon shoot for the exhibition Fashion Cities Africa to be held at the Royal Museums Brighton & Hove 2016
(C)  Judith Ricketts 2016

The Art room is adjacent to corridors with a rich texture of Moorish style archways and green scale-pattern tiling on the walls, perfect for photographing children and movement.

Other photographs made in studio conditions referenced the rich texture of the location by creating a backdrop which would emulate the Victorian Moorish style, as follows:

Having dress, adjusted chatted to and photographed 21 people during an 8 hour photoshoot, the results were stunning, and I issued 36 of the best images of the day.

This article also featured on Brighton Museum Blog:

Fashion Cities Africa Phase ii

The purposes of Fashion Cities Africa Phase ii, was to contextualize the people, in their place of residence but equally to reference their place of origin in Africa.  The models chose their own outfits in which to be photographed, be it in traditional or contemporary fashion.

This phase of the photoshoots presented an entirely different set of issues, such as photographing on location, in temperatures of 4 – 6 degrees in an exposed environment, with a driving wind and very little January daylight, which were challenging to say the least.

Over a period of two weeks the stalwart sitters braved the threat of rain

(C) Judith Ricketts
(C) Judith Ricketts

driving winds and low temperatures, to be directed, encouraged and ushered in various directions by me in order to get the ‘shot’ before the weather closed in or passers-by put an end to the composition of the photograph.

In each photographs Brighton is referenced in the abstract, its unique perspectives and architect.  In these photographs the person is at the heart of Brighton’s contemporary history, their style, their cultural identities intertwined seamlessly with its fabric.

I have loved meeting the people I have photographed during this project, it was impossible not to.

This article also featured on Brighton Museum Blog:


Fashion Cities Africa: Phase ii – overview

Fashion Cities Africa: Phase ii

Fashion Cities Africa: Phase ii

Fashion Cities Africa: Phase ii

Fashion Cities Africa: Phase ii

Fashion Cities Africa: Phase i – Overview 

Successful Fashion shoot, carried out in a public space, working with members of the public, adults and children I’d not met before. good photographic direction in a busy potentially distracting environment.  The images produced are both technically sound are quite beautiful  – well done to the models,  for bringing the ‘A’ game!

Judith Ricketts_Royal MuseumsB&H_FashionCitesAfrica_12 December2015_01_noname-1 Judith Ricketts_Royal MuseumsB&H_FashionCitesAfrica_12 December2015_01_noname-2 Judith Ricketts_Royal MuseumsB&H_FashionCitesAfrica_12 December2015_01_noname-3 Judith Ricketts_Royal MuseumsB&H_FashionCitesAfrica_12 December2015_01_noname-4

Creative points of reference, work created out of studio with dramatic effect.


List of scenes for reference 


The Art room and surrounding corridors.  

Officially allocated room –  The setup could be square on to the window to utilise natural light – until circa, 3:00pm  if lucky before the light fades?

Unofficial spaces are really inspiring and could create a rich textural backdrop for the models.


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