Val Wilmer (born 1941)
'Kenneth Terroade in a Flat in Putney'
Museum no. Circ.235-1973
From the 1960s Val Wilmer interviewed, photographed and wrote about jazz musicians in Britain and North America. She often found herself marginalised and vulnerable as a woman in this exclusively male world and the question 'What's a white girl doing here?' still gets asked today, despite her reputation and mature age.
Wilmer's main regret is that her photographs remain in the territory of jazz music and are not subjected to the art criticism that other photographers experience.
Her intention was to 'feel a situation' in her photographs. This meant capturing the dark figures of the musicians against the darkness of clubs and rehearsal spaces, and enjoying the process of concentration required to achieve this.
'To really take pictures you have to leave yourself behind: leave your thoughts about other things and enter into the world of the people you are photographing, to show how they feel. The detail in people's lives is in the feeling.' Val Wilmer
This photograph can be found in Print Room Box 16.