North: Fashioning Identity
Somerset House, London
– 4 February 2018
Which of our conceptions about northern England are true and which are based on myths? The current exhibition in the Eastwing Galleries of the Somerset House in London “North: Fashioning Identity” addresses the visual representation of northern England in photography, art and design and examines the developments which have shaped perceptions of northern English identity.
Using more than 100 exhibits as its basis, the exhibition gives a visual impression of the identity of northern England, presented through contemporary photography, fashion and multimedia installations alongside documentary films and photojournalistic works. The exhibition demonstrates how issues that shaped the collective perception of cultural phenomena in northern England in the 20th century continue to influence its cultural identity today. Some of the exhibiting artists focus on the specifics of northern England, while others look at international influences on local culture.
The film “Albert the Lion”, an extension of the photography series “Every Street” by Nick Hartley, which is also part of the exhibition, will have its first screening on 25 January 2018. This will be followed by a conversation with the photographer Vanley Burke about his work. On Tuesdays and Thursdays visitors can also take advantage of free guided tours on offer.
Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray curated the exhibition. An informative and illustrated exhibition catalogue with various essays on northern English culture, including “Style and Sex in 1980s Manchester” by Paul Flynn and “Women on Liverpool's Waterfront” by photographer Michelle Sank, is also available to buy.