My Week: Rankin Waddell Photographer of Rankin Raw Nudes Exhibition at the Proud Galleries, London

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The Independent Culture

I was out last night at a friend's birthday party. It's the first time in ages I've gone out at the weekend. Normally I'm at home with my three- year-old son, Lyle, but he is in the Scilly Isles with his mum at the moment. I got very drunk, acted like an idiot and embarrassed myself as usual. The same old drunken behaviour, but I don't mind because I was with some brilliant people and they looked after me. I spend all of today nursing my hangover.


I'm feeling better today. I have meetings and do businessy things at Dazed and Confused's offices in Old Street, Islington. I own the magazine and my office and studio are there.

I meet the guy who is printing my exhibition book. He tells me that, for some unknown reason, it will be late. It is supposed to be ready on Thursday for the opening of the exhibition, but will not be ready until Monday.

I reckon I'll lose at least 1,000 sales because of the delay, the first two days of an exhibition always being the busiest.

I go home and watch Braveheart with my girlfriend because I am photographing Angus McFadyen (Robert the Bruce) in the morning.


I really enjoy meeting Angus McFadyen today. He is brilliant. He is doing an Orson Welles film and I am a massive fan. We decide to duplicate a still from Citizen Kane, where Kane is sitting on 10,000 copies of The Inquirer. I get McFadyen to sit on 10,000 copies of The Independent. I reckon I've massively increased the circul- ation of today's Independent.

I pop into the Proud Galleries to see how everything is going for the exhibition. The gallery is being renovated and the builders have knocked down three walls and put in a new staircase. It looks amazing. Very sexy and cool.


I go to Dazed and Confused and work through the day's business. I cannot ignore my day-to-day work just because I have an exhibition.

I go to the gallery at 4pm and hang photographs until 4am. They have been printed and mounted by Joe's Basement in the West End. There are about 105 photographs to check and approve for colour, tone, and quality of image. I have already sent back four I was not happy with. They're all mounted on MDF. I want them to be raw and fresh. I hate things behind glass.

I'm particularly pleased with my photographs of two women, Fiona Brice in a shopping trolley and Jean McPherson on a slide. They're fun, and in many ways they're iconic.

I would have liked to have taken more photographs and had more time with a greater range of women. Some have wanted weird photos to be taken. One woman wanted to ride naked on an elephant. We couldn't find a cow, let alone an elephant.


I'm back at the gallery at 10am. The builders are still at work. I spend all day receiving photographs and hanging them. Normally I'd be shouting and stressed. Today I am calm. Everyone else is shouting instead - my pictures are ready, although the gallery may not be. Buyers, guests, models and friends phone constantly, wanting to come to tonight's party.

The gallery holds 400 people and we have 1,000 definite guests. We are expecting Norman Wisdom, Des O'Connor, Natalie Imbruglia, Goldie, and Damon Albarn among them.

The party starts at 7pm and finishes at 10.30pm. All the photographs are for sale. Prices range from pounds 160 to pounds 600. I'm not expecting to sell many tonight. I don't know if the photographs are saleable. This is a real shot in the dark. The public may like them, the buyers may hate them.

It's pretty packed, and I'm nervous that not everyone will be able to get a drink. Luckily, there's a pub next door so, hopefully, some guests will go there.


I spend most of today in bed, asleep. There is always a sense of anticlimax after the launch of an exhibition.

I do not buy the papers because I am not concerned about the media coverage of the exhibition. I have done it for myself, and because I thought the public would like it. I am touched that people find the exhibition interesting. Even the cleaners at the gallery really like it.

Lyle is coming home tomorrow, so I am excited about seeing him. We are going up to see my dad in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. He has just had a quadruple heart bypass, but is doing well.