Cat Garcia’s self-published Our Time is a beautiful observation of “the ordinary lives of extraordinary people”. The large photo-essay book looks at sixty of Britain’s most creative makers, thinkers, writers, designers and artists. Garcia observes lives over work, granting us a revealing and intimate insight into the day-to-day existence of pioneers and trailblazing creatives. Subtly telling, modest and visually graceful – I’m hit with a proudness that teeters upon smugness as I thumb through the pages of homegrown British talent.
Photographer and designer Cat Garcia spent just one day with each person, following their typical movements. Nothing styled, nothing staged. Garcia masters true fly-on-the-wall. Co-curated by Breed Agency’s Olivia Triggs, the subjects vary from the recognisable face of Britain’s creative establishment (Sir Paul Smith, Sir Peter Blake) to the country’s most significant up-and-coming innovators (Grace Ladoja, Quentin Jones). Charming commentary also accompanies each set of photographs by the subjects’ peers or friends: Dita Von Teese, Tracey Emin, Nick Knight and so on.
The subtle switching between full colour and black and white that binds the photography within Our Time lends itself to locations and subjects. Shooting the creative talent within their natural habitat – homes, studios, haunts – Garcia captures revealing incidentals that offer a satisfying sense of voyeurism: Peter Blake’s found unicorn, Maia Norman’s surfboards at her Devonshire seaside home… icons and upstarts alike become an open book. Fascinating.