EXPOSITION “VANISHING AFRICA” du 17 avril au 27 mai 2008
Born in Kenya, then still a colony of British East Africa, to an Italian father and a French mother, Mirella Ricciardi grew up on the shores of Lake Naivasha in a household which was both sophisticated and wild.
She was married at twenty-five to the Italian adventurer Lorenzo Ricciardi, who swept her off her feet and hired her as the photographer on the film he was making in East Africa. She bore him two children, both girls. Marina, their eldest daughter, died of cancer at the age of thirty-six.
Mirella's first book, Vanishing Africa, was published in 1971. An international bestseller, it made her reputation; one reviewer wrote that it was 'a masterpiece of photographic excellence'. She has since published four other photographic books. Having finally severed her umbilical tie to the African continent, she now lives for part of the year on an anonymous London street in the shadow of the Chelsea Football Club stadium in Fulham. Her nondescript terraced house has been turned into an African haven filled with light, African artefacts and rambling plants.
The pair of black buffalo horns, which for years hung above the front door, were removed when Lorenzo moved back to Italy. They now commute between their two homes.