As part of the celebrations for its 40th birthday, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, delves into the cultural tapestry of North England, highlighting its profound influence on fashion, visual arts, culture and music.
Editor of Nick Knight’s award-winning fashion broadcasting platform SHOWstudio and contributing editor for British GQ, Lou Stoppard joins forces with academic Adam Murray, co-founder of the photography collective Preston is my Paris to map out the legacy of the region and make an argument for the impression it has made on the rest of the country. Searching for familiar or recurring tropes within the culture of a geographical region,the pair bring together various different media as puzzle piece; laying out significant shifts in an exciting expanding artscape.
At the forefront of exciting projects are early images from Alasdair McLellen and Jamie Hawkesworth, who has since been published in a number of international magazines including AnOther, Dazed & Confused, i-D, LOVE and Vogue UK. Built upon the foundations of heritage documentary, intimately composed engagements with the lens act as an empathetic observation of Northern Britain, and stand as a voyeuristic argument for its contributions to contemporary expression. These budding glances at developing life within the region are juxtaposed against classic prints by Glen Luchford (including an original shot of The Stone Roses from 1989) and Nick Knight OBE, whose ground-breaking editorials have been exhibited at the V&A, Saatchi Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery and Hayward Gallery and won a plethora of awards for their attention to styling and cinematic execution.
Unpicking identities through each part of the event, Raf Simons’ 2003 Autumn / Winter Control collection parka makes an appearance as an icon of the indie music scene of the early noughties combined with graphics from Peter Saville’s archive which made headlines this year with a current value of $20,000.
Turner prize winners Mark Leckey and Jeremy Deller will also exhibit as part of the collective experience, making unexpected and unprecedented conversations with worldwide brands such as Adidas, whose Archive shoes tie in the history of British grunge.
North: Identity, Photography, Fashion, runs at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, until 19 March. Find out more: www.openeye.org.uk
1. Photograph by Alice Hawkins, Derrin Crawford & Demi-Leigh Cruickshank in ‘The Liver Birds’, LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012.