Biddy Partridge first began work as a freelance photographer for the South African Council for Higher Education (SACHED).
From 1978-1982, she was the editor and a photographer at Ravan Press in Johannesburg, and worked mostly for the magazine Staffrider, but also on many other publications. For over two years, she worked on the book None But Ourselves: The media and the masses in the making of Zimbabwe, with Julie Frederikse. This involved interviewing and photographing hundreds of Zimbabweans; researching, collecting and copying illustrative material from many sources and working on the editing and design of the book.
Partridge was involved in the founding of the Afrapix photo agency. Although she was at the founding meeting where the idea of a photographer’s collective was discussed, she was unable to attend any subsequent meetings due to the fact that she was in the process of relocating to Zimbabwe, where she moved in 1982.
She participated with Afrapix by sending in her work for the Staffrider exhibitions. Partridge also wrote and photographed regularly for Zimbabwean magazine Moto, and for Upbeat, a magazine for South African youth. She also worked for Agence France Press.
Throughout the decade, Partridge was involved in several projects, and worked with rural communities in Zimbabwe. She published articles and photos, and held solo exhibitions.
In the 1990s, Partridge shifted emphasis from photography to music. She completed two albums with the Afro-jazz band Mhepo, which featured six of her own compositions. Partridge performed with women’s a capella group Big Sister. She also taught music in several schools and institutions in Harare.
In 1998, Biddy received UN funding to compose and record a song designed to treat the symptoms of HIV-Aids through musical frequencies. In 1999, she moved to London.
For the next 4 years, she focused her attention on music and taught keyboard, choir and saxophone in Brent, Kensington, and Southwark, as well as performing administrative work for Jazz Services. In 2003, she returned to photography and completed and screened a video, which combined the AIDS song with still images of Zimbabwean life. This was a tribute to the many great musicians lost to HIV/AIDS.
Partridge continues to write articles, publish photographs, and hold exhibitions. In 2006 some of her images were published in the book Women by women: 50 Years' of Women's Photography in South Africa which was commissioned by the South African Ministry of Culture and published by the University of the Witwatersrand.
Photographs featured in the following books:
None But Ourselves: Masses vs Media in the Making of Zimbabwe (1982)
Staffrider Presents: South Africa Through the Lens - Social Documentary Photography (1983)
Young women in the liberation struggle: Stories and poems from Zimbabwe (Women of Africa) Paperback – 1984
A Different Kind of War: From Soweto to Pretoria (1986)
The Unbreakable Thread - Non-Racialism in South Africa (1990)
Opposites (1991) - children's book of black and white pictures.
Women by Women: 50 Years of Women's Photography in South Africa (2006)
Biddy Partridge Photography [online] Available at: biddypartridgephotography.co.uk [Accessed 16 April 2009]|Interview with Biddy Partridge, by SAHO CEO Omar Badsha