PORTRAITS

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PORTRAITS

FOREWORD BY LAURIE LEE

Graham Ovenden's photographic portraits and nudes of the girl child are in all probability the finest examples in Western Art.

I remember autographing a copy of my Two Women for Graham in the mid eighties. I did so as the humble student to his masterful and utterly honest depictions of girlhood. Like his mentor William Blake, Ovenden stands as a unique and powerful reminder of an authentic vision that has not been sullied by the neurosis and falsehoods of popular culture; nor that of the obsessive and immodest dictates of the law.

During one of the many discussions we have held together, Graham rightly pointed to the fact that within the foundations of our culture, the Humanism of Ancient Greece remains as a bedrock of sanity and rational behaviour. The total body of self is that of the Gods and what more so when depicting the wholesome beauty of our childhood. I well remember when my own Cider... was first published how some moralists picked on the natural sensuality of girlhood and tried their utmost to defame this series of essays based on my boyhood experiences. I hardly dare write this, but I now wish I had been more forthright in showing certain members of the public their puerile actions and minds, for they are the true pornographers.

God bless Graham Ovenden and his enigmatic art, it enriches us all.

Laurie Lee 1988

TWO WOMEN