Jane Birkin, ‘By the Thames’


By Eric Swayne
London, U.K. 1965
Estate stamped selenium toned silver gelatin print hand signed by
Tom Swayne, executor of the Estate
Edition of 50
Paper size 24h x 20w inches

Jane Birkin at the beginning of her career started as an actress and singer for Queen Magazine and she and Eric Swayne had a relationship from 1965 to 1966. Jane is perhaps best known for her risqué duet with Serge Gainsbourg ‘Je t’aime’ which was banned in the United Kingdom. She appeared in several cult movies such as ‘Blowup’ and ‘Wonderwall’.

Today she is known by the fashionista’s for the ‘Birkin Bag’ which has never-ending appeal. In 2015, Birkin wrote a public letter to Hermès requesting her name be removed from the bag, stating she wanted the company to ‘debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place,’ referring to the cruel methods used to acquire the skins for the bags. Hermès announced soon afterwards that it had satisfied Birkin with new reassurances on this.

Eric Swayne was surrounded by a troop of revolutionary artists, musicians, photographers and models; many of whom were Swayne’s friends. Between them they would all play their part in London’s 60s creative explosion, and their cultural impact is still felt today. This is a unique and intimate record of that special time, taken from the inside.

Photography Portfolio
Behind the Lens
Icons in Focus
National Portrait Gallery
The Guardian
WSI Magazine
United Nations of Photography
The Telegraph
AnOther Magazine

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