Opening this winter is North: Fashioning Identity, a new exhibition at London's Somerset House featuring contemporary photography, fashion and multimedia work, highlighting how the realities of life in the north of England captured in the mid-20th century continue to influence new generations of creatives.
The show, which kicks off on 8 November, will feature over 100 photographs, fashion garments and artworks from a host of renowned photographers, designers and artists including Alasdair McLellan, Corinne Day, Mark Leckey, Jeremy Deller, Alice Hawkins, Raf Simons, Paul Smith, Off White’s Virgil Abloh, Peter Saville, Stephen Jones, Gareth Pugh, Nick Knight, Glen Luchford, Jamie Hawkesworth, plus the likes of Shirley Baker, John Bulmer and Peter Mitchell.
It will look at the themes and tropes present in these collective visions of northern England and consider why these regions, or representations of them, are increasingly a source of inspiration and still so idealised today.
Many of the works in the exhibition will offer personal reflections on the artist’s sense of northern identity, including a number of interviews with northern talent looking at how their hometowns have influenced their creative output over the years. It's not just homegrown creatives; admirers from further afield are also shaping and spreading narratives of the North. The international impact of northern style and culture – its music, film, sport, fashion, landscapes and communities – will also be showcased, from Belgian-born Raf Simons’ parkas with Peter Savile prints to the (Ben Kelly) Haçienda (design) – inspired designs of American fashion designer Virgil Abloh.
The exhibition is curated by writer, independent curator and SHOWstudio Editor-at-large Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray, lecturer at Manchester School of Art and Central Saint Martins.
Header image: Derrin Crawford and Demi Leigh Cruickshank in The Liver Birds, LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012 © Alice-Hawkins
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