A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers

035 - Jane Hilton

Episode Summary

Jane Hilton started out as a classical musician, graduating in 1984 with a degree in Music and Visual Art from Lancaster University. Her love of photography brought her to London, working as an assistant for numerous fashion and advertising photographers, before going it alone in 1988. Early work included both fashion and editorial alongside her documentary projects, which are her passion and the mainstay of her work today. Her first trip to Arizona in 1988 sparked an obsession for America and American culture which has endured for nearly 30 years and which has seen her spend much of her career undertaking long-term personal projects in the USA. She began by exploring Las Vegas's McDonald's drive-thru style wedding culture in her series Forever Starts Now and from there a road trip across the Nevada desert let her 350 miles away, where a roadside brothel outside Reno called 'Madam Kitty's Cathouse' caught her eye. This chance encounter became a two year project and resulted in a ten-part documentary series for the BBC, The Brothel / Love For Sale, as well as a series of exhibitions on desert landscapes, pimps and prostitutes. Inspired by a commission in 2006 to photograph a 17 year-old cowboy, Jeremiah Karsten, who travelled 4,000 miles on horseback from his native Alaska to Mexico, Jane set off on her own four year pilgrimage, criss crossing the cowboy states of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, New Mexico and Wyoming to capture America's 21st century cowboys which culminated in her 2010 book Dead Eagle Trail. For her most recent book Jane returned to the brothels of Nevada. Precious is a collection of intimate nude portraits of working girls from the only state in America where prostitution is legal. Jane's work is regularly published in The Sunday Times Magazine and The Telegraph Magazine.

Episode Notes

Jane Hilton started out as a classical musician, graduating in 1984 with a degree in Music and Visual Art from Lancaster University. Her love of photography brought her to London, working as an assistant for numerous fashion and advertising photographers, before going it alone in 1988. Early work included both fashion and editorial alongside her documentary projects, which are her passion and the mainstay of her work today. Her first trip to Arizona in 1988 sparked an obsession for America and American culture which has endured for nearly 30 years and which has seen her spend much of her career undertaking long-term personal projects in the USA. She began by exploring Las Vegas's McDonald's drive-thru style wedding culture in her series Forever Starts Now and from there a road trip across the Nevada desert let her 350 miles away, where a roadside brothel outside Reno called 'Madam Kitty's Cathouse' caught her eye. This chance encounter became a two year project and resulted in a ten-part documentary series for the BBC, The Brothel / Love For Sale, as well as a series of exhibitions on desert landscapes, pimps and prostitutes. Inspired by a commission in 2006 to photograph a 17 year-old cowboy, Jeremiah Karsten, who travelled 4,000 miles on horseback from his native Alaska to Mexico, Jane set off on her own four year pilgrimage, criss crossing the cowboy states of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, New Mexico and Wyoming to capture America's 21st century cowboys which culminated in her 2010 book Dead Eagle Trail. For her most recent book Jane returned to the brothels of Nevada. Precious is a collection of intimate nude portraits of working girls from the only state in America where prostitution is legal. Jane's work is regularly published in The Sunday Times Magazine and The Telegraph Magazine.