Last month Clayton and I attended an opening for a new photography exhibit at the Norton Art Gallery here in Shreveport. It was a 1920’s speakeasy to celebrate the photographer, John Ernest Joseph Bellocq’s history. Bellocq resided in New Orleans in the early 1900’s and became infatuated with Storyville, a legalized red light district for prostitution. His collection features the women and girls in their every day lives, playing with their dogs or sitting in their kitchen, and was fascinating.
Norton went all out for the party and even opened their basement (normally not open to the public) as a Speakeasy. No password, no party. With a bouncer manning the door, we whispered the password: Spifflicated and entered a dimly lit room with each table set for tea. The party downstairs featured a variety show that included juggling, magic and burlesque.
During the prohibition, it was common to drink out of tea cups to disguise your illicit behavior. The preferred drink of choice? Bathtub Gin. Many variations were created by mixing cheap grain alcohol with water and flavorings like juniper berry juice and because the preferred container for bottling was too tall to be topped off with water from a sink, they were filled from a bathtub tap.
We also got to participate in our first composite experience. Our friends, Ivy and Jennifer, posed, lit and snapped every individual or couple separately and then edited all images together creating this intimate group shot. Needless to say, I love seeing other creative minds work – I had no idea what to expect when posing for this photo but seeing the finished product is mind blowing.
Far From Being An Interruption
Credit: Ivy B Photography and Jennifer Robison Photography | Venue: R.W. Norton Art Gallery