Country Girls by Anna Fox and Alison Goldfrapp

Saturday 13 May 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Centre for British Photography, W04 and W05, West Wing

Untitled 1999 from the series Country Girls © Anna Fox

For Anna Fox and Alison Goldfrapp, growing up in and around the town of Alton in the 1970s, a lingering chill hung over Flood Meadows, a bucolic corner of rural Hampshire. The legacy of the gruesome 1867 murder and dismemberment of eight-year-old Fanny Adams, whose body parts were gradually found scattered across the meadows, lingered on – over one hundred years later – in a current threat of violence, in the adolescent fights and misogyny all around them.

The overwhelming sense that life in those leafy lanes was an anachronistic, conscious pretense, perpetuated by a community hanging onto a past that perhaps never really was, is explored in the earliest portraits of Alison dressed irreverently in her mother’s clothes from the 1950s and 60s. From this upright start the two moved on to picture Alison discarding her clothes, roaming the woods, bare-bodied, creating spinning dances to ward off dangerous cows, and, finally, to the series of deathly poses in bluebells, pick-up trucks, and fields.