Dusty Springfield exhibition opens

Dusty Springfield exhibition opens

THE life of pop legend Dusty Springfield is being celebrated in a new exhibition featuring inspirational figures from a West London borough.  

A portrait of the singer, who grew up in an Irish Catholic family, is now one of a number on display at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG).

Featuring celebrities who have lived, worked or studied in Ealing, Dusty - real name Mary O’Brien - developed her passion for singing at St Anne’s Convent School after she moved to the borough with her family in the 1950s.

Also featured is Freddie Mercury, who studied at Ealing Art School from 1966 – 1969 before forming Queen in 1970; filmmaker Steve McQueen, who attended Drayton Manor High School and actor Sid James, who lived in the borough and appeared in films produced at Ealing Studio.

Footballer Peter Crouch, who attended North Ealing Primary School and Drayton Manor High School; film director Gurinder Chadha, who grew up in Southall; Pete Townshend, who regularly played at The Ealing Club; and former Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval, who lived in Ealing Common, are also included.

The portraits are part of a four-year participatory arts project at the NPG and are running alongside a film installation created by artist Eelyn Lee and students from Brentside High School in Ealing.

“After spending the past nine months working with the portraits of these inspiring people, it is powerful to see the collection displayed alongside our film projection,” Lee said of the Creative Connections project, which is designed to extend the Gallery’s work engaging young people with portraiture.

“The National Portrait Gallery is leading the way in raising the status of this kind of collaborative work, giving it a platform of the highest level. The display is a true reflection of the creative journey we have taken together. Along the way it has been gratifying to see different young people flourishing at different times and everything coming together in the production of the film.”

Creative Connections is on display in rooms 37 and 37a from June 19 at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Admission free.