Beth Davis is a student and photographer based in Brisbane, Australia. To celebrate the launch of The Glitter & Gold‘s online music and clothing store she was asked to present several key items from the collection in a unique and imaginative way. What follows is an account of her experience.
In the age where everything is shiny, polished and new, record players and vinyl have become staples in our bedrooms. Escaping the present, we are digging through our parent’s cupboards for that old Stevie Wonder record and brushing the dust off of an old Beatles album at garage sales. As most trends do, we move onto bigger and better things, and just like our parents did, we are literally getting back into the loop of cassettes, with a giant resurgence of popularity in the past couple of years.
Although the younger brother of the record player was created in the 1960s, the cassette reached its prime in the early 1970s. Teenagers and young adults across the world were enjoying popular artists like Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones in a more portable way for the very first time. For this exact reason, the shoot contained a fair amount of ’70s flare and was set to mimic a young teenager’s room in that time frame, as well as the model completing mundane tasks of that era to advertise other exciting upcoming merch for The Glitter and Gold.
It was extremely interesting working with a cassette player for this shoot. The last time I had even thought about using a cassette was well into my childhood. (My grandfather adored older music.) Figuring out the tapes was a game of trial and error, we landed on several of our favourite tracks on the way.
…With Psychedelia Mixed In
Two of the newer audio cassette tapes were from Dua Lipa and Tame Impala. Both sounded almost natural on the cassette player. If anything, they had a better ambience. The winding tapes gave the music a more raw feel, and it gave me and the model (Josie McKellar) a small glimpse into the ambience of a teenager’s room in the 1970s.
The shoot was inspired by the ’70s with some psychedelia mixed in. This was done in order to represent the Cosmic and The Glitter and Gold brands. Locations with brighter colours and vintage vibes were scoped out and narrowed down into three. Two laundromats were visited for the shoot as they acted almost as vivid time capsules and a house, where we shot several of the environmentals (images intended to capture a subject’s environment). This gave the photos an authentic, vibrant and retro feel, allowing all elements to fall into place perfectly.
As a photographer, my work is largely inspired by the general vibration of the psychedelic era, which I realized worked perfectly with the cassettes and several key items that were part of The Glitter and Gold Inventory. The photographs for this shoot were intended to mimic the style and belief systems of the younger generation in that era, featuring bright and shiny outfits, cluttered rooms filled to the brim with books and other novelties. I wanted to convey a happy and care-free feel in the images, which gave a small taste of youth in that era.
The psychedelic era was also a giant turning point for social, artistic and musical change that was heavily influenced by psychedelic drugs. In order to achieve an authentic psychedelic feel, I turned to psychedelic art for more inspiration, which is defined as any graphics or art that are related to psychedelic experiences and hallucinations following the ingestion of psychedelic drugs. Interestingly enough, the term psychedelic, which was created by English psychologist Humphry Osmond, actually means “mind manifestation”. From this definition all attempts to depict the inner mind can be considered psychedelic.
Working with Josephine McKellar
The popular 1960s counterculture, which featured highly surreal visuals (much like my photography) and bright colours to convey psychedelic experiences were also used as the main inspiration in order to give the images a lot of authenticity. Many aspects of the images taken were altered, brightened and edited, and are intended to drag the viewer out of reality, into something a little more weird and wonderful.
The stunning model featured in the shoot is Josephine McKellar, a beauty that was definitely born in the wrong era, with 70’s flare packed to the rafters. Josie demonstrates her love for all things retro, and is always enthusiastic to collaborate in several of my projects which have taken us to several unique locations. Josie is also no stranger to modelling, and has modelled for several popular brands including Lubajo Apparel and W Titley and co. She is a familiar face on my photography account @thoughtcrimeblog on Instagram.
Dreaming of the Past
Josie and I tried to imagine the world of a young person in the 1970’s. As part of the creative process, we gauged major historical events that would have shaken our worlds and pop culture that would have gripped us. We found common themes in several biographies that we looked at as well as a shared love for the outdoors, exploring, dancing, low-inflation and a simple lifestyle. Josie represented this idea perfectly, showcasing a care-free and laid back look through her modelling.
Josie is also no stranger to getting her hands dirty on several projects and assisting with several aspects of my content creation. “Figuring out how to use a cassette player was an experience,” says Josie. “It made me feel like I’d travelled back in time and I had just purchased my first album to listen to.”
Glitter and Glam
Many aspects of Josie’s unique style were also subtly showcased in the shoot. This included her iconic red glittery jacket which I believed represented The Glitter and Gold brand perfectly. Josie responded with her take on her own personal style. “Jackets are something I have too much of,” she shares. “Yet I always seem to be on the lookout for more. They never fail to make me feel cool and confident and give me a chance to stand out from the crowd”.
My photography is also intended to make the boring something a little more special, as I believe is so important to find beauty in the mundane, so locations that often seem bare and plan prove most appealing to me. I have also found a great influence in the director Wes Anderson, and my great love for symmetry has manifested recently, you can find a great deal of symmetry in laundromats and they often come with distinct colours which are extremely fun to work with. “The idea of modelling in unique locations proves really cool to me. With Beth we always seem to go on the most interesting adventures for that perfect photo,” says Josie.
Lana Del Rey is one of many modern artists inspired by artists of the ’60s and ’70s, whose siren-like delivery is heavily inspired by Julee Cruise and bears a shocking resemblance to retro beauty Priscilla Presley. For the shoot, it was deemed only appropriate to capture Josie with a classic red lip and blue eyeshadow. We treated the laundromat as if it were her local haunt.
The shoot was an extremely fun experience. It acted as a time portal for Josie and I. We began to feel very in touch with the young people of that time period. We emerged from the project having learned so much about the psychedelic era that will be extremely useful for several funky shoots in the future.
The shoot features several cassettes. These include Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours, Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side of the Moon and Tame Impala’s Currents. All are available for purchase via The Glitter and Gold’s online store. Josie wears a white and brown wool Gucci bucket hat, an Interview Magazine Lana Del Rey tee and Gucci denim flares. The model also displays a Pretty Green x Beatles denim jacket and a Cosmic Magazine tote bag designed by graphic artist Dawn Aquarius. All items will soon be available for purchase.
‘Hallucinate a 70s shoot by Beth Davis’ Production Credits
Shot by: Beth Davis
Model: Josephine McKellar
Styled by: Beth Davis & Josephine McKellar
Follow Beth Davis on Instagram @thoughtcrimeblog
What is The Glitter and Gold?
The Glitter and Gold is a journalism studio and online store based in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.