Tim Bret-Day

Season of Witch

€2.111,95 EUR
Agent Provocateur - Season of Witch, 2008
Signed and numbered
Fine art print on Hahnemuhle photo rag paper
Print available in two sizes 

The Season of the Witch was shot for Agent Provocateur in May 2009 at Dorney court. It was commissioned by Joe Corre and Serena Rees the original owners. Joe and I had been looking at Hogarth's etchings for A Rakes Progress, which later became an opera by Stravinski depicting the decline of Tom Rakewell, “For idle hearts and hands and minds the Devil finds work to do.” We decided we would create our own version of Bedlam but with Agent Provocateurs seductive point of view.
The challenge was to shoot their whole collection, over thirty- five pieces of lingerie and put them into one image. Despite the misconception that it is a huge multi composition in photoshop, the truth is, it isn’t. Camera position locked off and working to a very specific layout conceived with all the girls from the shop, the picture is assembled in three parts. The right-hand side of the image using our ten models and extras was shot first, then as individual scenarios. Then came the balcony shot as they changed costumes to shoot the left-hand side. Fenton Bailey son of David played Tom, and Chloe Hayward his prospective wife who stumble into the witches coven, a twisted version of The Rocky Horror show.
e witches included Alice de Lal, Daisy Lowe, Peaches Geldof, Marina Jameson, Raquel Nave, Awoui, Alex Jenny and Paz de la Huerta from Broadwalk Empire. Charlie Anderson brought a rack of costumes which everyone was persuaded to dress up in, whether it was the snake wrangler, who at one point “mislaid” a nine-foot boa constrictor, photo assistants, strip club doormen, some
random punks we found roaming the streets of Windsor and the entire hair and makeup team. Joe Corre, son of Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood made a cameo performance in all four tableaus and can be seen behind the chandelier with all the girls from their offices all suitably attired. We actually flew the owl across the set but the wolf that belonged to the owner of the house was brought in and shot separately.
On my first presentation of the artwork there was a degree of disapproval, perhaps cutting the brides throat was a tad over the top but Joes only reaction was “ couldn’t we have a bloody great big pentagram painted on the floor?” I returned to my office that afternoon and duly painted the floorboards with the devil's insignia which was then comped onto the shot. With productions like this, so many people go unmentioned such as my producer Jenny, Jess Morris, Sarah Shotton, Kirstin Piggott and Eamonn Hughes on hair and make up my dear friend Peter Smith who styled all the food, and most importantly my partners in crime Lee Stuart who assembled everything without any hesitation and a huge degree of inspiration, and Mark Townsend who balanced the light and made the 5x4 plate camera operate without hiccups.
Ultimately though, the performances were excellent amid the organised, adrenalin-fuelled chaos. For my part, I was just delighted we found the snake.

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Tim Bret-Day

Born in London, Tim began his career as a rock photographer but was soon drawn to the world of fashion and began shooting for The Face, Elle, Harpers and Marie Claire, travelling the world extensively. He developed a very distinctive style, and was soon working on major campaigns for all the top agencies in London, as well as helping to develop brands such as Agent Provocateur with a unique and often unconventional style of photography.

Clients include: Virgin Atlantic, Harvey Nichols, Agent Provocateur, Mercedez, Nokia, Ikea, Samsung, Sony Music, ITV, Castello, British Airways, Illamasqa, Ghd, Exte, Sky, L'Oreal, Smirnoff and Siemens.

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