When Jo first asked me for a theme for this edition of .Cent, I was sent into a state of immediate panic. I’ve always tried to avoid labels as much a possible; I find them limiting and quite dangerous. The world is not just black or white- but full of shades of grey.

Trying to decide on a word that somehow encapsulated what I have done, what I do, and what I am interested in seemed impossible.  I have really been fortunate enough to do what I have wanted to and carve my own path.  I have avoided ‘labels’ and definitions at all cost. I am a Stylist turned Creative Director turned Show Director turned Theatre Director turned Photographer, now I want to write and direct films.

I have never actually thought too much about it, it just seems to me a perfectly natural evolution, borne out of a need to survive and make money (!) with the result of a low attention span.  Even now, people I meet are constantly confused and don’t really understand what it is that I do, it has often been to my detriment. People like to know

 

 

 

where they are, what they are dealing with. It may well be a case of Jack of all trades and a master of none, but I  love what I do and for the most part it keeps me entertained, even if it entertains or inspires one other person, then it is fine by me. One of the hardest things in life I have found is to be authentic while still being myself; we have so much constant interference and information bombarding us from the outside world and media, it is difficult to retain or discover a sense of personal truth. Only now at 43 do I feel like I’m beginning to touch upon the real me and find the strength to do what I want to. It’s not what fashion or ambition subtly manipulates me into believing what I want to do.

Anyway, Rainbow seemed perfect. Fleeting, intangible, it doesn’t really exist, but exists only from a certain perspective or position. It is something we can see with our eyes, but not touch.

Like faith, love, evil. g-d, peace, unity and  strength. It is also natural, a product of the physics of and chemistry of this world and nature. It is authentic.

It isn’t something that man created or manipulated. It has become a symbol for liberation, for freedom of sexuality, of homosexuality, of peace, and for all the myriad of things that they stand for. Quite co-incidentally the man who invented the rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker, died the same day that we were shooting the Rainbow images to accompany this edition.

I love the idea of Rainbow Warriors my shoot for the issue, that we are all an army of the rainbow, united in our colours and brightness. I am not hippy dippy and I haven’t had a sudden religious epiphany or something equally life transforming. The idea of Rainbow Warriors might seem completely at odds or trivialised to be used as a theme by someone who is really known for a pair of gold hot pants (those Kylie shorts)  and has worked mainly in the disposable world of pop, but it somehow seems relevant to me.

The rainbow contains pink after all. That means pink is light itself.

Words and image William Baker 

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