Dame Anita Roddick
© Trevor Leighton / National Portrait Gallery, London
Dame Anita Roddick
by Trevor Leighton
cibachrome print, 1989
15 1/2 in. x 15 1/2 in. (394 mm x 394 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Dame Anita Lucia Roddick (1942-2007), Businesswoman and campaigner. Sitter in 7 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Trevor Leighton (1957-), Photographer. Artist associated with 249 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Commissioned by the Trustees for the exhibition, Camera Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 317 Read entry
Anita Roddick presides over a cottage-industry which has grown into a multi-million pound business. The daughter of Italian immigrant parents who ran a café in Littlehampton, Anita Parella campaigned as a teenager for CND and Freedom from Hunger, and later worked on a kibbutz, a period which she describes as ‘the benchmark of my life’. While working for an international charity she noticed that the peoples of the Third World countries used natural products on their skin. From this sprang the idea of the first Body Shop, which opened in Brighton in 1975, selling cosmetics made only from natural ingredients, involving no suffering to animals, packed in refillable containers and wrapped in recycled paper. With the help of her husband Gordon Roddick, the Body Shops have now grown into a franchised chain, and are the retail flagship of the environmentalist movement, in which she takes a leading role.
Trevor Leighton studied at Carlisle College of Art and Design, and for two years played guitar in a punk rock band. He worked first as a photographer in Newcastle, and opened a studio in London in 1981. He specializes in fashion and portraits, and his work has appeared in The Tatler, Woman’s Journal, The Observer, and The Independent magazine. He exhibited in ‘Twenty for Today’ (1986) at the National Portrait Gallery. For portraits he generally favours tight-cropped head shots, but he occasionally, as here, works at three-quarter-length; a format which allows greater scope for his evident fantasy. He portrays Anita Roddick in the clothes she wears for her expeditions to find new products, cradling in her hands a pat of mud, in witty allusion to her concern for all things natural, a ‘friend of the earth’.
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1989back to top
Current affairs96 people are crushed to death at the Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield. The accident took place when Liverpool fans were all let into the stadium at once. Incoming crowds crushed people against a fence used to prevent pitch-invasions. Following the Taylor Report into the incident standing terraces and fences between fans and pitch were banned.
Art and scienceFollowing the publication of Anglo-Indian writer Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses in 1988, the leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, announces that the book is 'blasphemous against Islam' and places a fatwah (death sentence) on Rushdie, who is forced into hiding for several years.
InternationalThe Berlin Wall is dismantled, reunifying East and West Germany and symbolising the end of the Cold War. Following a decision to allow East Berliners to cross the border with valid visas, crowds swarmed the border crossings. Guards soon gave up trying to stop them, and the physical dismantlement of the wall soon began.
Approximately 2,000 Chinese demonstrators are massacred in Tiananmen Square while protesting against the government.