27th April 2015

“Tough & Tender” Book Launch and Exhibition
Sheila Rock introduces her latest book at LOOK/15 in Liverpool

Tough & Tender by Sheila Rock - Book Cover

Tough & Tender began with seascapes and the series evolved organically. American photographer Sheila Rock was fascinated with the importance of the landscape and how being an island can impact on the psyche of the British people.

An intriguing series of portraits of the English by the sea: the juxtaposition of seascape and facescape, the ruggedness of sea and face embellished over several years with additional stronger and edgier pictures. The culmination is now seen in her latest 128-page book of the same title that contains more than 70 monochrome images.

Sheila Rock is highly acclaimed for her previous books “Sera - the way of the Tibetan Monk” and “Punk +”. The latter famously captured artists of the1970’s British Punk music era in candid pose.

Having recently returned from a ‘Punk +’ world tour taking in London and Paris before moving on to China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan where she was invited to discuss her works, Sheila Rock is now preparing to launch her new book of images from the Tough & Tender exhibition during the Liverpool International Photography Festival ‘LOOK/15’ at ‘The Gallery’, Stanhope Street from 15th to 27thMay 2015.

Tough & Tender by Sheila Rock, Exhibition and Book launch at The Gallery, 41 Stanhope Street, Liverpool L8 5RE from 15th to 27th May 2015

Following the opening night private viewing Friday 15th, on Saturday, 16th May there will be a book signing and conversation opportunity hosted by Glen Matlock, best known for being the bass guitarist and song writer in the original line-up of the punk rock band the Sex Pistols. A limited number of books, published by fine art publishers Kehrer Verlag, will be available to purchase ahead of the official UK launch in October 2015. The book will be launched first in mainland Europe during early May.

The Liverpool exhibition consists of 36 black and white pictures all taken on ILFORD HP5 PLUS film with prints made by Bob Wiskin, Robin Bell, and Steve Walsh. In the book Sheila Rock says, “I thank the numerous subjects who stood in front of my camera and allowed me to capture their spirit. They are the heroes of my book. My journey around the English coast has been a humbling experience; many interesting encounters and adventures along the way have sculpted a heartfelt view of the English seaside. There is nothing better than the mysterious; black and white photography captures that perfectly”.

In the Foreword to Tough & Tender prize winning author Philip Hoare whose books include ‘Leviathan or, The Whale’ and ‘The Sea Inside’, writes “In Sheila Rock’s images, the sea is repopulated, albeit with the ghosts of its past and future, subtly brought back to life in monochrome, reflecting perennially grey English skies. ....................... These sad, sweet, bitter, desperate-happy images remind us why we are summoned to the sea, irrevocably - for all that, for the rest of our lives, we turn our backs on it, as if we cannot bear its grandeur. It embodies our mortality, because it is unfeeling. It would not care if we lived or died. It is barely there at all.”

From Liverpool the exhibition will move on to the Johanna Breede Gallery, Berlin, from 20th June to 5th September 2015.
For further details please visit:
Sheila Rock Website:
LOOK/15 Website:
The Gallery Website:
Johanna Breede Photokunst Website:
Kehrer Verlag Website:

For information about all ILFORD black and white photographic products visit:

For further details, press images, permissions and review copies, please contact the publisher’s press office:
Kathrin Szymikowski,
or Barbara Karpf,
Kehrer Verlag, Wieblinger Weg 21, 69123 Heidelberg, Germany
Fon ++49 (0)6221/649 20-25, Fax ++49 (0)6221/64920-20

Sheila Rock was born in the USA and educated at Boston University and the London Film School. She has lived and worked in London since 1970. She became an influential force shaping the look of creative magazines like The FACE magazine. Her successful career covers a wide spectrum; photographing for the entertainment and music industry, the West End theatre, the Royal Opera House, the Barbican and also advertising and design agencies and periodicals. Her editorial portrait and fashion work have appeared in numerous magazines, including: Time Magazine, Elle, Glamour, Rolling Stone, Architectural Digest, and the Sunday Times. Her portrait work forms part of the public collection at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Ralph Lauren Polo have a number of her Horse Portraits.