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Geoffrey Rigden; Shirley O'Neil; Michael Blake; Humphrey Ocean; Ruby Ocean; Miranda Argyll

1 portrait of Shirley O'Neil

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Geoffrey Rigden; Shirley O'Neil; Michael Blake; Humphrey Ocean; Ruby Ocean; Miranda Argyll

by Harry Diamond
gelatin silver print, 1970s
6 7/8 in. x 10 1/2 in. (175.5 mm x 266 mm) image size
Bequeathed by Harry Diamond, 2012
Photographs Collection
NPG x210041

Artistback to top

  • Harry Diamond (1924-2009), Photographer. Artist of 217 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.

Sittersback to top

This portraitback to top

The artist Michael Blake has said of the portrait: 'Regarding the occasion, it was at the Open Studios in a warehouse on the river in Wapping, 1983. Probably the last one before development of the warehouse, when you could still smell spice dust in the brickwork. It's Shirley O'Neil's studio. I was a contemporary of Humphrey at Canterbury College of Art in 1971 and we remain friends. I stayed in Kent with my partner and daughter after leaving college, living with Geoffrey Rigden and his wife and daughter. He was a part time visitor at the college and was our tutor and a great painter. Anyway the connection is really Canterbury Art College and our friendship with Harry Diamond. Humphrey, Miranda and their girls used to visit us in Kent for a weekend by the sea in a large studio I had in Herne Bay. Indeed, a photo I took of Humphrey on one of those visits is included in the new book 'Humphrey Ocean' published by the RA.'

Events of 1970back to top

Current affairs

Edward 'Ted' Heath wins a surprise victory for the Conservative party at the general election, becoming Prime Minister. Opinion polls had predicted a comfortable Labour victory, but with a failing economy, the Tories snatched a narrow last minute majority.

Art and science

Germaine Greer publishes The Female Eunuch, an influential feminist text arguing that women's sexuality and capacity for action are repressed by the family and their roles in society. Greer suggested that women should get to know their bodies and become empowered by their sexuality. The book was an international best seller.


Four aircraft are hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. The planes were landed in Cairo, Jordan and London and the hijackers demanded the release of Political Prisoners in exchange for the hostages. Several prisoners were returned and three of the planes were blown up after most of the hostages were release.
Four students are shot dead by national guardsmen during a protest against the Vietnam War in America.

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Michael Blake

28 November 2019, 21:34

Left to right: Geoffrey Rigden, Shirley O'Neil, Michael Blake, Humphrey Ocean and Ruby, and Miranda Argyll

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