Hot on the heels of The Avengers comes @ArtAndHue's second collaboration with Studiocanal - and the subject needs no introduction. A style icon, and one of the most adored faces of 20th century cinema, Audrey Hepburn's appeal is timeless. I asked Art & Hue's founder Odysseas Constantine about the inspiration behind this new collection of prints simply called: Audrey.
Why Audrey Hepburn?
Elegant, smart, charming, funny, stylish, beautiful, caring: Audrey Hepburn was a unique talent, never equalled, who continues to be an enduring and inspirational screen icon. 2016 marks 65 years since the filming of 'Secret People' and the important screen test for 'Roman Holiday', her debut Hollywood movie which won her the Best Actress Oscar, so the timing felt right. Audrey was a British actress who went on to create memorable roles that are still cherished to this day, from the fluctuating emotions of Holly Golightly in 'Breakfast at Tiffany’s' to the pure charm of the beatnik bookworm transformed into a fashion butterfly in 'Funny Face'. I say British, but she truly was a global citizen. Inheriting British nationality from her father (who was Scottish but was born in the Czech Republic), Audrey was born in Belgium to her Dutch mother and spent her childhood in Kent and then the Netherlands during the Second World War. She spoke five languages fluently and epitomised cosmopolitan style.
What led you to these images?
Art & Hue had the pleasure of delving into the archives of Studiocanal to uncover rare photographs of the young Audrey Hepburn taken at Ealing Studios to publicise the film 'Secret People', which have been given the stylish pop art treatment. The publicity images were taken of a young Audrey Hepburn on the threshold of international fame. Thorold Dickinson cast Audrey in 'Secret People' 65 years ago, and then filmed her screen test for 'Roman Holiday''. Audrey was studying at the legendary Rambert School of Ballet under the founder Marie Rambert when she was cast as a dancer in Secret People. Audrey wanted to be a ballet dancer so when she got her first major role in film, it must have been a dream role to portray a ballerina. Performing all her own ballet moves during the dance sequences, the director of 'Secret People' went on to film the important screen test of Audrey which led to international stardom. Thorold Dickinson’s screen test was sent to director William Wyler and secured her the role of Princess Ann in 'Roman Holiday'. Had it not been for Ealing Studios and Thorold Dickinson, the world may have been deprived of Audrey’s iconic characters that defined midcentury cinema.
How did you decide on which images to choose?
Studiocanal were most generous with their time and resources and I was able to experiment with many images from the archive before I selected the final six prints. I've tried to create a balance of images that display Audrey Hepburn's unique qualities and to reflect her work, hence the name of each print: Love, Modern, Style, Beauty, Ballet, and Laughter. For example, she's renowned for her romantic films so for the Audrey Love print, Audrey becomes the symbol of love.
How did you choose the colour palette?
All prints are available in three sizes and 18 colours, including the 16 studio colours plus a light grey and a new pink inspired by Funny Face called 'Think Pink'. Acid-free and of museum quality, all Art & Hue prints are produced on fine art archival matte card, made from 100% cotton, and using pigment inks that will last a lifetime.
Do you have a favourite print from the collection?
I genuinely love them all - I experimented with many images from the archive until I selected my favourite six prints so they're all my personal favourites.
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