You know those moments, when everything is like a precious gift, the way it happens, how it falls into place and the way you feel elevated both during the moment itself and for a long time ever after. This was a moment like that! I was in Milano doing a photo shoot for the brand ISAIA and since I had not been in Milan for many, many years and it is a place related to the 70s and working as a model with GianPaolo Barbieri I had a deep wish to meet him. My past as a model has become very alive to me again, mainly through this blog and the wish to connect the past and present in various creative ways is active in me. I always loved working with GianPaolo, he was so generous and attentive. a brilliant photographer/guide who could get the best out of me. Our collaboration was perfect! The work itself was very special magic, sometimes hard body work moments in front of the camera, then super good lively lunches in the studio with the whole team and often dinners after in his home. I´ve had my best pasta and risotto ever there. It´s been about 40 years since we met and recently I had called his studio and spoken to his studio manager Emanuele who was thrilled speaking to me and connected me to Gian Paolo who was then in the Carribean. That was our first contact a few month prior to my trip to Milan. As I seem to be mostly last minute and very unprepared in one way but in another way kind of hold focus within, I didn´t call the studio to say I was coming to town but just had the intention of a meeting to take place. It was Emanuele who answered as I called in the morning, “OH, Ingmari! This is incredible! I´m just standing at the light table looking at dias of you! And you know who´s standing next to me?” Of course it was Gian Paolo and it was meant to be! We were all so happy and settled for lunch in the studio the following day. Filled with joy at such a great coming together of incidents I dashed off to work for ISAIA and had a great day at work, followed by a wonderful dinner with my friends Evan and Luisa. Next day, after a long loving breakfast at the hotel with my friends as well, I dashed off to the Studio Barbieri with butterflies in my belly and deep Joy in my Heart. Meeting GianPaolo felt like it was yesterday we met last time. Such a thrill beyond words. He showed me around the beautiful studio full of objects from his travels and life in the Caribbean. A different studio than the one I knew, only the lights were the same, his photo lights. And then he took me to a big table in the photo studio itself, one side of it covered with prints of me. “These are all the original prints I have from our work together in the 70s. Take what you want Ingmari”. My heart at that point was so overfilled I felt like laughing and crying at the same time. Years pass and everyday, every moment is filled with new life, the work I did back then is not something I think of most of the time but right there, right then it just hit me with all the memories and this absolutely unexpected generous gift. No one has ever given me a gift like this before and I was totally humbled. By the man, my friend that I had spent so much precious working time together with and by the gift he just offered me. I didn´t know where to put all my emotions at that moment but felt like a glowing ball of gratitude. We had lunch, we spoke, we were in this moment of grace…then Emanuele took some pictures of us together. We looked at the photos that were going to an exhibition in Moscow and all his books. There are photos of me in four of them that he also gave as a gift. I didn´t even know they existed. After making my choice of prints Gian Paolo made a packeting for them and after great future plans and warm farewells they both followed me to the street entrance. In the taxi came the tears and I just let them flow from the source in my heart. Now it´s time to make visions come to reality!
the dias on the light table show how precise the body movements were. It looks easy but it was quite some twisting and bending into position.
studio sitting room
wooden sculptures and objects from his life journeys
shells and snakeskins
pictures ready for a big exhibition. May the next one be in Stockholm! This one from the series Tahitian tattoos.
humour and excellence
GianPaolo making a cover for my pictures
then sits down to sign the books he gave me
a great giver, a wonderful man
See you next time…very soon my friends.
Photo story: Ingmari Lamy
All photoprints in the story: GianPaolo Barbiero