North: Identity, Photography Fashion is an exhibition that persuasively bears out Open Eye Gallery‘s view of photography ‘as art, as social and historical document, and as integral to the cultural impact of music, fashion, architecture and many other disciplines’. The photographs that act as the mainstay of the exhibition – including early career shots by Jamie Hawkesworth and Alasdair McLellan – together provide a view of the rich cultural history of the North of England and the tropes and themes that have come to define it, whilst also bearing out the influence the region has had on fashion and visual culture more widely.
Part of the gallery’s 40th birthday celebrations in 2017, North combines photography with artworks by the likes of Turner Prize winners Mark Leckey and Jeremy Deller, and clothing from influential labels. These include the now defunct New Power Studio, former winner of Fashion East’s MAN award, rising talents Christopher Shannon and John Skelton, and iconic archive shoes by adidas. A Raf Simons parka from the A/W 2003 Control collection, valued at $20,000 and featuring graphics from the archive of Peter Saville (former director of Factory Records), will also be on display. Overall, this small but dynamic showcase offers a compelling overview of the North’s cultural authority.