Curated by Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray, ‘North: Identity, Photography, Fashion’ was an exhibition held at Liverpool Open Eye Gallery from 6th January – 19th March 2017. As the exhibition has recently just finished we thought it would be interesting to look back at what the artwork, clothing and interviews really told us about being from the north of England.
Exploring the style and cultural heritage of the North, the exhibition displayed the global influence that the region has had on fashion, music, art and photography. Through a number of short videos showcased by SHOWstudio, along with work by artists such as: Alasdair McLellan, Corinne Day, Gareth Pugh and Peter Saville, the honest feel of the North was revealed.
Gary Aspden, brand expert and consultant at Adidas, featured in an interview in which he described his upbringing in the North. Aspden had first hand experience of a number of youth cultures at the time, and gave his opinions on the acid house scene. During the interview, Aspden explained the rise and ‘fall’ of the movement between 1989 and 1990 through his eyes. At first the warehouse parties unified people; the culture wasn’t politicised, and kids from the North were given an opportunity to express themselves in a communal and friendly environment. Aspden went on to explain that by 1990, acid house was personally over for him, because money, greed, gangs and violence took over and ruined what had once been created.
This short-lasting dream typifies the North, because the region cannot be defined solely by one specific look; From skins, soulers, punks and casuals, the style was constantly changing, and still continues to evolve today.
Today Aspden explains that all roads lead back to the North. For many, the region is characterised by personal experiences and styles, and such memories are today translated into artwork, fashion and music.