North: Fashioning Identity

North: Fashioning Identity examines representations of the north of England and Northerners in photography, fashion and art.

North: Fashioning Identity features 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, Raf Simons, Paul Smith, Off White’s Virgil Abloh, Peter Saville, Stephen Jones, Gareth Pugh, Nick Knight, Glen Luchford, Jamie Hawkesworth and David Sims, plus the likes of Shirley Baker, John Bulmer and Peter Mitchell.

In the exhibition, contemporary photography, fashion collections and multimedia artworks will sit alongside social documentary film and photography, highlighting how the realities of life in the north of England captured in the 20th century continue to influence new generations of photographers, artists and designers.

The show unpicks the themes and tropes present in these collective visions of northern England, from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Birkenhead, Doncaster to Preston, considering why these regions, or representations of these regions, are increasingly a source of inspiration and still so idealised today.

Many of the works offer personal reflections on the artist’s sense of northern identity, including a number of interview films, produced by SHOWstudio, with northern born-and-bred talent on how their homes have influenced their creative output over the years. Specially commissioned for the show, the exhibition will also feature ‘Infinity’, a new film by Doncaster-born photographer Alasdair McLellan, in which he revisits the sites of his youth.

However, it is not just homegrown creatives, but also admirers from further afield who are shaping and spreading narratives of the North. The international impact and far-reaching resonances of northern style and culture – its music, film, sport, fashion, landscapes and communities – are also showcased in the exhibition, from Belgian-born Raf Simons’ parkas with Peter Saville prints to the Haçienda-inspired designs of American fashion designer and creative director of Off White, Virgil Abloh.

Curated by writer, independent curator and SHOWstudio editor-at-large Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray, a lecturer at Manchester School of Art and Central Saint Martins, and in partnership with Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery, the exhibition will be expanded at Somerset House to include over 20 new works and a new design.

Duration 08 November 2017 - 04 February 2018
Times Wednesday – Friday: 11.00 – 20.00, Saturday – Tuesday: 10.00- 18.00
Cost £7, £5 concessions
Venue Somerset House
Address The Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
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