Thirty-one pop stars snapped for charity


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The Independent Culture

First it was 31 actors backstage at The Old Vic, now the photographer Matt Humphrey has turned the lens on 31 pop stars, snapped at home, backstage or at music festivals. "I targeted actors and directors, including Kevin Spacey, Jeff Goldblum and Rebecca Hall, last year," says Humphrey, a former stagehand at The Old Vic. "This year I decided to get 31 musicians as my sitters. It felt like an impossible task at first. Pop stars are harder to pin down."

A London exhibition of his photographs includes portraits of K T Tunstall at Chelmsford's V Festival, as well as Razorlight, backstage at The O2. The photographs will be sold to raise money for The African Workshop, a small charity that supports local street children in one of the world's poorest cities, Bamako, Mali.

Humphrey also photographed Lee Scratch Perry at his home in the Swiss Alps, wearing a multi-coloured gown. "I wasn't allowed to go until after 4pm because he doesn't get up before then. I had to promise that I'd never let anyone know his exact address," says Humphrey. "The main room of the house was like an indoor rainforest with tropical plants and bird cages, with parrots and parakeets. I was summoned by his son and taken to his den, which is a huge garage on the ground floor. It had multi-coloured walls, trinkets, statues and his writing on the walls."

Other sitters for the project include Mercury Prize nominees Ghostpoet and Metronomy, as well as Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Carl Barât, and Tim Burgess. But what's next? "I am thinking of doing 31 sports people in 31 hours," he says.

31 Musicians 2011 is at Adam Street Club, London WC2 ( from 28 November to 2 January; then at The Strand Gallery, London WC2 ( 9 to 22 January