Carinthia West’s intimate photographs of rock and film stars of the 1970s in America, and in particular on the glorious beaches of Malibu in California, present an upbeat and buoyant view of the decade that should remind us of the outstanding music and the great design of this much-maligned period. The exhibition’s colour, fun, and vivid exuberance are just what we need as we emerge, bleary-eyed, from the nightmare of Covid.
The traditional picture painted of the 1970s is one of doom and gloom: the inevitable hangover after the party of the Swinging Sixties. However, as Carinthia West’s fascinating photographs demonstrate – alongside home interiors, fashion, posters, album covers, and the music of the Seventies – this is only part of the picture. The 1970s was a decade of bright colours, of fun, and of self-expression.