STELLA MCCARTNEY joins a collection of Olympic figures starring in a new London 2012-themed exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The BT Road to 2012: Aiming Highinstallation marks the culmination of a three-year project, capturing 100 photographs in the run-up to the Olympic Games.
Portraits of some of the key athletes seen throughout London 2012 sit alongside those involved in the cultural, artistic and operational aspects of the games - from catering managers, to torch bearers, to transport supervisors.
McCartney - for whom the athletes have to thank for their Team GB kit - had her portrait shot by photographer Emma Hardy, who captured several figures involved in the preparations leading up to the Games. Taken inside Stella's West London studio, the portrait was incredibly easy to conceive according to Hardy.
"She's very used to the camera, good at remaining unselfconscious - she knows what works," Hardy said. "She has no time to hang about - Stella is a busy woman with many demands on her time."
The pair worked together previously, which made for a very natural, relaxed process - explained Hardy, who talked us through the impact that she believes the finished article has.
"It communicates her intelligence, her grace, and also how she owns the space around her wherever she is. Stella has a commanding presence. Even though the pose is relaxed, I think her character comes through," she said. "It was just like I was catching her at work, in a moment between meetings - the pictures seemed to happen almost incidentally."
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