'Art & Sol' Launch Exhibition at the New Ealing Project

Collaboration sees classic rock photography transformed into digital art

A photo of Mick Jagger reinterpreted. Picture: Sol N’Jie and Stella Tooth



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The first exhibition to take place at the new local music and art venue, the Ealing Project, will be 'Art & Sol'/

Running until the end of the month, and coinciding with the Ealing blues and jazz festivals in Rock’s Diamond Year, the exhibition is the result of an ongoing collaboration between Getty Images rock photographer Solomon (Sol) N’Jie and portrait and musician artist Stella Tooth.

Stella and Sol met in a ‘pop up’ in Ealing where Sol was exhibiting some of the 600 photos he had taken of 80s rockers like Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury, Madonna, Prince, Rod Stewart, Sting, Tina Turner among others.

The collaboration unites ‘old’ and ‘new technology’ with Sol’s photographs originally taken on an analogue 35mm camera and Stella’s artworks created on an Apple ipad pro using the Procreate app. Stella has now reinterpreted a number of these images through digital portraiture to produce a modern representation of these moments in time.

Musicians from the sixties through to the eighties who have been photographed and then reinterpreted in digital paintings played the Ealing Blues Club - the cradle of British rock music.

Stella Tooth, is the resident artist of the Half Moon Putney, which has been playing live music since 1963. The exhibition aims to provide an insight into the performances of these extraordinary artists and reveals striking images and natural moments in time that provide a nostalgic, pictorial journey through the 1980s and a tangible memory for fans.

Stella and Sol decided to produce this side-by-side exhibition to allow the viewer to understand and appreciate what happens when an iconic photo is seen through the lens of an artist’s eye.

During the 1980s Sol N’Jie was responsible for the crowd safety management of spectators at various London venues where the world’s leading artists and bands performed. During some of the concerts he used a 35mm camera to capture rare and unseen images from unique vantage points of pop stars that had become global phenomena.

Stella Tooth, an ex print journalist and BBC/Sky News PR, retrained as a portrait artist at The Heatherley School of Fine Art in 2010. Storytelling in words and picture is part of her portrait and performer art. Now, inspired by Sol’s iconic rock photos, she uses colour symbolism and her traditional oil painting skills to create digital portraits with the pressure-sensitive ipencil.

A video has been made of the transformation of Sol’s photos into digital paintings.


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July 21, 2022

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