At the 2015 Photo London Fair, fine art photographer Veronica Bailey attended a VIP tour of the Witt and Conway Libraries at The Courtauld Institute of Art. A selection of uncatalogued boxes belonging to the de Laszlo gift of Paul Laib negatives became the subject of a further twelve months research, leading to photographic project within the library. Bailey discovered that several of the cardboard Kodak boxes contained pages torn from a trade directory inserted between the plates, suggesting a new ‘sandwiched narrative’ of both artistic and photographic significance.
The Glass Ladies Series introduces titles such as Lady Prichard, Lady Reilly and Lady Shutter, forming new identities for the sitters. These women are unwittingly remodelled as advertising mannequins for a variety of proletariat trades, alongside companies such as Sidroy Lingerie, Deans Blinds, Glasso Paints, Pritchards Bride Cakes, and Quickset Water Sealers. The presentation of these new images as near colourless diptychs [both positive and negative] suggest the push and pull of possible public and private relationships, hinting at a segregation of class. Along with Bailey’s large photographic prints, the display cabinets contain a selection of Laib’s original negatives, which feature paintings by artists including James Gunn, Oswald Birley, Lancelot Glasson, Gerald Kelly, as well as the relatively unknown female portrait artist Eva Sawyer.