Clive Arrowsmith went to art school in North Wales, where he studied painting and design. He then attended Kingston College of Art (where he gained a first class Degree) on graduation he painted for two years. He then began taking photographs whilst working as a graphic designer for Rediffusion TV (the makers of the TV show Ready Steady Go!).
On leaving television to work as a photographer, he soon gained commissions from leading fashion magazines like British & French Vogue, Nova Magazine, Harpers, The Sunday Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire U.S.A, and the F.T. "How to Spend It" luxury magazine and numerous publications world wide. He also photographed the Pirelli Calendar two years in succession.
Clive continues to work in this genre in both editorial and advertising photography but is equally known for his music and celebrity images of Sir Paul McCartney, Wings, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, George Harrison, Daniel Barenboim, Anna Netrebko, Art Garfunkel, Def Leppard, Prince Charles, Michael Caine and Damien Hirst. He photographed Kate Bush early on in her career, creating the familiar 'ivy' photograph used on the cover of The Secret History of Kate Bush (& The Strange Art Of Pop).
Clive continued to broaden his creative scope by moving on to direct commercials. He has directed for Heinz, Revlon, Hamlet Cigars (winner of The Silver Lion Cannes Film Festival), Rapeed Sunglasses, Greenmail Whitney Beer and music videos of artists like Lee Griffiths, Jamiroquai, Jools Holland, ZTT and Def Leppard.
Clive was recently made a fellow of The Royal Photographic Society. His work is also included in the newly released limited edition book VOGUE Voice of The Century (Genesis Publications) and in 50 Years of Pirelli (Taschen publications).
Clive has also just published his first book Arrowsmith: 'Fashion, Beauty and Portraits'
Clive Arrowsmith about Kate Bush
Hearst Magazines had asked me to take a cover photograph for their new magazine Company. Kate was very definitely the woman of the moment at that time and her career was going from strength to strength all over the world. I had been very excited to meet her and had been listening to her music the evening before. Kate was very easy to work with and a calm silence pervaded her while we all worked. When you are shooting portraits you have to take people as you find them in that moment, so I did try and reflect the wistful and ethereal feeling I got from her. I sent the stylist out to get strong theatrical gauze, in different colours, while Kate’s make-up was being done, and I asked for some strands of ivy. After hair and make-up, the stylist helped me by arranging the shape of the blue gauze which I wanted to surround her face. I set up a blue light behind her, to surround her in blue and to enhance the blue gauze, which contrasted with the red of her lips and her hazel eyes. After the blue image my team and I hung the ivy from a boom over her head. I directed the hairdresser from my camera viewfinder to refine the ivy strand arrangement. I asked Kate to hold the pose and we got the shot. Kate is a totally genuine musical artist and these images also capture that very serious aspect of her talent.