Derrin Crawford and Demi Leigh Cruickshank in The Liver Birds, LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012 © Alice Hawkins

North: Fashioning Identity

08 Nov 2017 – 04 Feb 2018
£7.00 / £5.00 concessions

Wed – Fri: 11.00 - 20.00, Sat – Tue: 10.00 - 18.00

Free entry for Courtauld Friends

East Wing Galleries
East Wing

Truth, myth and the spaces in-between in visual representations of the North of England.

An exhibition exploring contemporary artistic and stylistic representations of the north of England.

Featuring contemporary photography, fashion and multimedia work, sitting alongside social documentary film and photography, highlighting how the realities of life in the north of England captured in the mid-20th century continue to influence new generations of photographers, artists and designers.

The exhibition featured 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, Alice Hawkins, Raf Simons, Paul Smith, Off White’s Virgil Abloh, Peter Saville, Stephen Jones, Gareth Pugh, Nick Knight, Glen Luchford, Jamie Hawkesworth, plus the likes of Shirley Baker, John Bulmer and Peter Mitchell. 

Intelligent, celebratory and in love with its subject matter.

The Guardian
Installation view - North Fashioning Identity at Somerset House. (c) Antony Jones for Somerset House

The show looked at the themes and tropes present in these collective visions of northern England and considered why these regions, or representations of them, are increasingly a source of inspiration and still so idealised today.

Many of the works in the show offered personal reflections on the artist’s sense of northern identity, including a number of interviews with northern talent looking at how their home towns have influenced their creative output over the years. It's not just homegrown creatives; admirers from further afield are also shaping and spreading narratives of the North. The international impact of northern style and culture – its music, film, sport, fashion, landscapes and communities – was also showcased in the exhibition, from Belgian-born Raf Simons’ parkas with Peter Savile prints to the (Ben Kelly) Haçienda (design) - inspired designs of American fashion designer Virgil Abloh.

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The exhibition was curated by writer, independent curator and SHOWstudio Editor-at-large Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray, lecturer at Manchester School of Art and Central Saint Martins.

Header image: Derrin Crawford and Demi Leigh Cruickshank in The Liver Birds, LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012 © Alice-Hawkins

In partnership with

North: Fashioning Identity
was supported by