Save nine cents

I have thoughts of duplicating this image. Standing under the Hills Hoist on a crate and having someone peg my hair to the line and take a photo of me holding my favorite laundry product. Say, Homebrand nappy soaker or even the non scented Cold Power liquid. I would be stoic as I faced the camera, as if to say I know what my lot in life is going to be (or is). And I'm not all that happy about some aspects of it, but hey let's make art.
Earlier this week, I received an e-mail from Alina, asking whether I would be interested in a picture of Olivia Newton-John as a girl in an advertisement for OMO. Oh yes. Thank you, Alina.

And what an image it is. Apparently Olivia is about eight, so that means that this would have been taken in 1956 or thereabouts. It seems such an odd photo to use. Not just her surliness, but the tight shot of the washing line and the hair pegged to it, bare winter trees in the background, washing drying, plastic pegs, a Hills Hoist. Gothic or maybe a little Hitchcock. Or Beat. Not the usual nostalgic suburban dream. Darker and more cramped. So who were these people that decided to take a picture like this? Frustrated (or not) artists working in advertising to pay the bills. Or was there one person in the team, who said to the others, listen, I have a really cool idea... you're going to love this... and somehow got people to go along with him (or could it have been a her?) Did the image sell washing powder? What did the women who saw it think?

Or maybe the concept is simpler. Perhaps she got dirty and her mother washed her and hung her on the line to dry. I don't know. Hmm.


  1. Nice work. It could also have been a comment on unwilling children not wanting to help out - and look what happens!

  2. Thanks. This one didn't come out quite how I expected. I'd been sitting at the computer with a port, ruminating and faffing and thought I'll just do a draft and look at it tommorrow. But before I knew it, I'd pushed the publish button and off we went...
    I think she looks too clean to be naughty... but then again there are some kinds of bad that don't involve getting dirty.