Previously at the ICA - Exhibitions
29 Jun 2016 – 4 Sep 2016
Entry with Day Membership
The first major solo exhibition by accessories designer, art director and fashion stylist Judy Blame.
Safety pins, buttons, badges, pearls, bottle tops, cutlery, plastic bags, toy soldiers and keys form an inventory of objects that Blame has innovatively adapted to create his trademark jewellery and other accessories.
In the early 1980s Blame’s non-conformist attitude and a desire to distinguish himself within the London club scene motivated him to produce jewellery. His modest resources shaped his DIY approach and led him to incorporate found objects as a foundation for making his adornments; early creations questioned established material hierarchies and were testimony to the harsh realities of industrial and economic decline. It was during this period that he encountered a range of creative individuals including Derek Jarman, Anthony Price, John Maybury and Leigh Bowery who championed his inventive approach to making fashion accessories.
In 1985 Blame helped John Moore to set up The House of Beauty and Culture in Dalston, London, a craft collective of like-minded artists including Fiona Skinner, Dave Baby, Fiona Bowen, John Flett, Peter Foster, Mark Lebon, Alan Macdonald & Fritz Solomon (Fric & Frack), Richard Torry and Christopher Nemeth. This collective experience proved to be the first of many important collaborations as a consultant with various designers including John Galliano, Rifat Ozbek, Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pugh, Marc Jacobs and Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton.
A further significant figure in Blame’s continued growth as a creative polymath was Ray Petri, nexus of the pseudo-corporate fashion collective Buffalo, who encouraged him to focus his talents as a fashion stylist. Blame was soon producing iconic fashion editorials with a range of photographers including Mark Lebon, Mark Mattock, Jean Baptiste Mondino and Juergen Teller for publications such as i-D, BLITZ and The Face. His instinctive ability to create symbolic images that embodied radical elements of popular culture and fashion led to an extensive career in the music industry as an art director and image consultant for iconic figures such as Boy George, Neneh Cherry, Kylie Minogue, Massive Attack and Bjork.
Throughout his career Blame has maintained his artistic foundation, making jewellery from found and re-purposed objects. These pieces continue to inspire alongside his prolific contributions on social media, revealing his idiosyncratic and resourceful approach to life through images and objects.
The exhibition is presented as a montage rather than a chronology that brings together an arrangement of artefacts, including clothing, collages, jewellery, fashion editorials, sketchbooks and T-shirts alongside unique commissions that bear witness to Blame’s tactile, thought-provoking, approach to fashion and his propensity towards collaboration and experimentation.
Judy Blame’s exhibition follows recent explorations into the 1980s including a presentation of drawings by artist and infamous night-clubber Trojan (2012), an ICA Off-Site project entitled A Journey Through London Subculture: 1980s to Now (2013) as well as exhibitions of paintings by the late poet David Robilliard (2014) and photographs by Smiler, aka Mark Cawson (2015). Judy Blame: Never Again present an evaluation of his creative approach and draw parallels between his practice and how a more recent generation work today.
The exhibition is accompanied by a limited edition zine compiled by Judy Blame.
With special thanks to Gary Aspden, Dave Baby, William Baker, Scarlett Napoleon Bordello, Cabinet Gallery, Mike Chetcuti, Benjamin Paul Fletcher, Kim Jones, John Jones, Kristian Jones, Michael Koppelman, Alan Macdonald, Anthony Michael, Isaac Murai-Rolfe, Michael Nash Associates, Stephanie Nash, Scott Ramsey-Kyle, Karlie Shelley and Portia Smith.