Friday, December 2, 2016

Culture: The Fascinating North, Identity, Photography, Fashion

Geographically speaking, the north of England is a relatively small area – but its influence on style, international style, is vast. It’s inspired everyone from Belgian Raf Simons to American Virgil Abloh, among other designers and image-makers from around the world. This, in part, is what’s going to be explored at a new exhibition curated by editor-at-large of SHOWstudio, Lou Stoppard, and academic Adam Murray, who co-founded photography collective Preston Is My Paris.
Opening on January 6 at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool (and in celebration of its 40th anniversary), North: Identity, Photography and Fashion will explore the rich and varied ways in which the region has influenced fashion and visual culture. The show will bring together work from Simons and Abloh, along with visuals by legendary art director Peter Saville and photographers such as Jamie Hawkesworth, Nick Knight, Corinne Day and Jason Evans.
“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,” says Stoppard, who curated a hit exhibition exploring fashion’s obsession with youth last year. “Raf Simons 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.
“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.

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