On the 10th anniversary of her death, music video director and photographer, Phil Griffin, celebrates Amy Winehouse’s legacy with never-before-seen photographs in a new exhibition.
Many fans say they know the stories of their beloved artists, but Griffin is determined to rewrite the narrative surrounding Winehouse into something positive.
“I want there to be a positive flow of conversation about her. She’s not just a tragic figure but a human being who was incredibly talented. She was a girl with a story to tell and she wasn’t afraid to tell it,” Griffin said.
The photographer—who worked closely with the late singer as a creative consultant during her Back to Black era—compiled a selection of photographs he took with Winehouse.
Specifically, the images were taken when both parties were working on the music videos for You Know I’m No Good, Back to Black, and Love Is a Losing Game.
— Time Out London (@TimeOutLondon) July 23, 2021
Comprised of eleven shots on display at the Brownsword Hepworth art gallery in London, ‘Amy in the Light’ was developed to show Winehouse in ways that fans have never seen her before.
Some photos are artistic, mirror images of each other, showing the British crooner accentuated with neon liquid lighting in front of black backgrounds.
Others are more candid: black and white shots of the singer in a robe on a bed, with one of them showing her laughing.
Griffin also provided another shot from one of his most recognisable shoots of Winehouse.
“I really remember that [photograph] because she was in a funny mood and didn’t want anyone near her,” Griffin said.
“So, I went behind her when she was in the bathtub getting ready for a shot in the You Know I’m No Good video. I said, ‘Just don’t move.’”
Through his work, Griffin hopes to show the Winehouse that he knew, not the tragic songstress whose life was cut short under dire circumstances.
I wonder how many of the music industry and press people who pay respectful tributes to Amy Winehouse were among those belittling her in the months prior to her death. Turning her into a punchline and mental health into a joke. Because that was an incessant noise at the time.
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) July 24, 2021
“She was vulnerable because she wore her heart completely on her sleeve,” Griffin said when discussing his late friend. “That’s OK if you’re a private artist and you have protection around you, but she was so exposed and so vulnerable throughout her career. Her quiet honesty was never given space.”
During her lifetime, Amy Winehouse was a celebrated singer-songwriter whose sultry vocals and heartfelt lyrics made her one of the most recognisable artists in music.
Her sophomore album, 2006’s Back to Black, earned Winehouse an impressive five Grammy Awards at the 2008 show, making Winehouse the first British female singer to do so.
‘Amy in the Light’ will run from Monday, July 26, 2021, to Tuesday, September 14, 2021.