Hope Defines Julian Lennon’s Eerily Beautiful Photographs at Emmanuel Fremin

Like his father, he wants to make the world a better place.


Julian Lennon is a true jack of all trades. As a photographer, musician, documentary filmmaker, and yes, the son of John Lennon (with John’s first wife Cynthia Powell), he also finds time for charity work with the White Feather Foundation, an environmental and humanitarian outreach organization he founded in 2007. In fact, it was his work with White Feather that inspired “Horizon,” his current solo show at Emmanuel Fremin Gallery (where the musician Moby recently had a show—see Moby’s Photographs Envision the World’s First Post-Apocalyptic Cult.)

In this series of black-and-white and sepia-toned photographs, Lennon attempts to bring back the big skies, sweeping landscapes, and weather-worn but hopeful faces that he encountered on a recent mission to help bring clean drinking water to villages in Kenya and Ethiopia.

“I was gobsmacked by it all,” Lennon says. “Being there really drew it home, the expanse of the countryside…I just took as many pictures as I could, trying to capture a few odd beauties.” When he got home and began to sift through the film, he realized he had somewhere between five and ten thousand shots.

The series is a departure from the kind of photography he’s best known for—shots of his brother, Sean, on tour; a series of portraits of Charlene, Princess of Monaco taken moments before she was crowned; pensive, behind-the-scenes pictures of the band U2. These are natural subjects, as this is the world Lennon was born into. (For more news related to photography, see New York Times Exposes Peter Lik Photography Scheme.)

Julian Lennon someone We all Know

Julian Lennon, Someone We all know… (2010).
Photo: artnet

But like his father, he appears to have an innate desire to make the world a better place somehow. “It’s all about the horizon of hope,” he says, in reference to the title of both the exhibition and one of the principal works. “You can see that [the subjects] want to move forward with knowledge and wisdom and can do that. And there’s every chance for the next generation to have a better life.”

“[I want people] to get a sense of what other culture’s lives are really like,” Lennon stated.

“Probably something in the future,” Lennon said in response to a question about what decade he’d like to live in. “I’d like to see where we go. I’ve seen where we’ve been, now I want to know what’s ahead.”

Our only request is that he bring plenty of film with him.

Want to hear Lennon’s answers to some of our sillier questions? We asked him what kind of sandwich he would be, and his response included bacon. Check it out: Julian Lennon Wants To Meet Stephen Hawking in Instagram Interview.

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