Neil Kendall – A master of vintage Burlesque Photography

hbbf logo by Mark Bell with dates 2015 copy


In a week’s time, the great and the good (and the best of the naughty too) of the Burlesque world will descend on our sleepy Yorkshire Valley for a long weekend celebrating the marvellous world of Alternative Cabaret. Taking place over 4 days and nights from 30th April – 3rd May, Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival will be showcasing over 50 amazing performers from all over the UK, Europe and USA. Full line-ups, information and tickets can be found here at 4 days, 5 venues, 8 live events, 12 workshops and over 50 amazing performers. Come help us paint Yorkshire fabulous!


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Heart Gallery is delighted to once more support and be part of this year’s Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival and would like to introduce you to Neil Kendall who will be showcasing his amazing photography in our Picture Gallery from Friday 1st May – Sunday 3rd May alongside a few pieces from his notorious Striptease Museum.

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Neil Kendall is internationally recognised as  a master of vintage Burlesque Photography and was named this year (2015)  as ‘The World’s Great Burlesque Photographer’ in Burlesque Bible magazine.

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Neil has worked with the world’s greatest and most infamous Burlesque performers including Dita Von Teese, Dirty Martini, Lada Redstar and Lou Lou D’vil but for this brief (no pun intended!) but varied and interesting exhibition he is focusing on UK based performers – home grown talent, some of whom will be appearing at this year’s Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival including Vicky Butterfly, Raven Noir and Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival’s very own Lady Wildflower.

Lady Wildflower

His unique sense of vintage style and lighting is showcased in all of his work  and his images are known for their distinctly cinematic flavour.

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For over 20 years Neil has worked on both sides of the Atlantic and his work has appeared in places as varied as Gay Times to Vogue and in locations as diverse as Hollywood Boulevard to Blackpool Tower.

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Best known for his Burlesque Photography Neil shies away from creating the overly familiar cheescake pin ups so closely associated with the genre and instead focuses on the darker, more exotic set ups where his subjects slither, snarl or play in front of his lense to create whats he feels are ‘more powerful images’ of Burlesque Artists, often shooting them in locations and sets which reflect the artist’s own performance style.

Missy book

Neil’s association to the Burlesque scene goes back to 1990 in California at the start his long friendship with Dixie Evans ‘the Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque’ and custodian of the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas; she recently passed away aged 84 in 2012.

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Neil’s work in the international Burlesque Community has extended to film making, show production and  he has two recently published books on the subject.

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Neil lives in Chester in a house filled with memorobilia and antique props from his shoots…no there’s a house many of us would like to visit, imagine that dressing up box! See more of Neil’s work here folks, call for a chat with him in the gallery on Saturday 2nd May and see you next weekend x

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