Carinthia West

Carinthia West is a photographer and journalist, whose credits include Marie-Claire, Harper's and Queen, Harper's Bazaar, Tatler, the LA Weekly, The Independent, The Telegraph, Saga and US magazines, covering travel, lifestyle, humour and (her least favourite subject!) the celebrity interview.... she has grown up in the presence of, and been friends with, some of the 20th century's greatest names from music, film and society.  Anjelica Huston, Mick Jagger, George Harrison, Ronnie Wood, Robin Williams, Paul Getty Jr, Neil Young, Helen Mirren, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon, James Taylor, King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan, are just a few of those she photographed at both casual, private, intimate and poignant moments in their lives.

As a model and actress, she was photographed by the likes of David Bailey, Patrick Lichfield, and Mario Testino, appearing in everything from award-winning fashion editorials to album covers.  She also appeared in various films, including the BBC’s Crime and Punishment with John Hurt, John Cassavette’s Husbands and the classic Beatles parody, The Rutles, All You Need is Cash, starring George Harrison, Mick & Bianca Jagger, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, John Belushi and other Saturday Night Live cast members.

In 1976, Pink Floyd hired the innovative Hipgnosis team, Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson, to shoot the ‘Animals’ album cover at Battersea Power Station in London. They organised a giant blow-up pig which was attached to ropes and supposed to float above the Power Station. They had scheduled the shoot over three consecutive days in case they needed extra time. Unfortunately on the second day, the pig slipped its moorings. Carinthia West was there that day, along with a small crowd of friends and curious onlookers.

“I shot a whole roll of film of London’s famed Battersea Power Station when the Pink Floyd flew a blow-up pig above it for their Animals cover in 1976. To everyone’s horror, the inflated pig slipped free from its moorings while aloft. The band had originally hired an ex-police marksman to shoot it down if this happened, but he never showed up. Later, we read police reports that said jumbo-jet pilots, flying into London that morning, asked their passengers to position seat belts for landing and—in the same breath—said, “On the right of the plane, you will see the Houses of Parliament and on the left . . . a flying pig!” The pig eventually landed in a field in Kent. I shot thirty-six frames in an attempt to tell its story...” 

Her photographs have appeared in several exhibitions including the prestigious Julia Margaret Cameron Dimbola Museum of Photography in the Isle of Wight,  London’s Library Space, KM Gallery in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Art Exchange.