North: Identity, Photography, Fashion

Image by Adam Murray

Image by Adam Murray

The Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool is currently running an exhibition exploring the impact of Northern England on fashion and visual culture.

NORTH: IDENTITY, PHOTOGRAPHY, FASHION, co-curated by Lou Stoppard (writer, broadcaster and editor-at-large of SHOWstudio.com) and Adam Murray, explores the way the region is depicted, constructed and celebrated in select photographs, artworks and fashion collections.  

The exhibition features work from some of fashion's most notable image-makers. Early photography by Jamie Hawkesworth and Alasdair McLellan, is shown alongside historic prints from Glen Luchford and Nick Knight. Original prints from Luchford's first ever shoot, a session with The Stone Roses for The Face in 1989, will be on display. Additionally, work by contemporary artists such as Turner Prize winners Mark Leckey and Jeremy Deller will be exhibited.

Raf Simons AW 2003 Image courtesy of Raf Simons

Raf Simons AW 2003 Image courtesy of Raf Simons

Fashion garments include a Raf Simons parka from the renowned A/W 2003 Control collection, which featured graphics from Peter Saville's archive and made headlines this year for its current value of $20,000. Work by respected but now defunct former label New Power Studio, one of the original recipients of Fashion East's MAN award, will be displayed alongside new work by rising talents such as Christopher Shannon and John Skelton. Iconic archive shoes by adidas, a staple of Northern style, will also be on show.

Photograph by Alice Hawkins, Derrin Crawford & Demi-Leigh Cruickshank in 'The Liver Birds' LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012

Photograph by Alice Hawkins, Derrin Crawford & Demi-Leigh Cruickshank in 'The Liver Birds' LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012

The exhibition will also feature interviews produced by SHOWstudio, talking with talents born and bred in the North, exploring the influence of the region on visual style. Subjects include Simon Foxton, Stephen Jones, Claire Barrow and Christopher Shannon.

Lou Stoppard says: “The North of England has not only produced a myriad of cultural moments and creative talents, it also serves as an inspiration to those who live far beyond England. Raf Simons, a Belgian designer, finds beauty and inspiration in the Madchester-born graphics of Peter Saville, while Chicago-born designer Virgil Abloh is motivated by exports ranging from Oasis through to The Hacienda. This exhibition is both about the style history and heritage of the North and also the ways in which ideals of it – the clothes, the music, the smells, the houses, the men, the women, the communities - have spread and in turn been shaped by others through visual representations. It sounds simplistic, but the North certainly has an aesthetic in people's minds, and this show attempts to unpick what that is by surveying the themes and tropes that appear again and again. It's an exhibition about myths and identity as much as it is photography and fashion.”

Photograph by Stephen McCoy, From the series Skelmersdale, 1984

Photograph by Stephen McCoy, From the series Skelmersdale, 1984

The exhibition opened on 6th January and runs until 19th March.

Congratulations to the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool on their 40th birthday celebrations.

For more information on the exhibition visit the gallery's website.

And if you're not lucky enough to make it to the exhibition,  SHOWstudio.com have lots of information and interviews in relation to the exhibition. 

lifestyle, arts, editorBy Eddy Mason