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Burberry to mount major photography exhibition

By Vivian Hendriksz

29 Aug 2017

London - Luxury British fashion house Burberry is set to host a new, major photography exhibition that aims to explore ‘the British way of life and character’ at its new show venue, the Old Sessions House.

The exhibition, named ‘Here We Are’ is curated by Christopher Bailey, president and chief creative offer at Burberry and Lucy Kumara Moore, writer, curator, and director of Claire de Rouen. Bringing together the work of more than 30 of the 20th century’s most famous social and documentary photographers, highlights from Burberry’s debut photography exhibition include never before seen prints from Shirley Baker and Ken Russell and Karen Knorr’s portrayal of Belgravia in 1979.

Burberry to host debut photography exhibition at new show venue

“When we started thinking about curating ‘Here We Are’, I knew I wanted it to celebrate a certain strand of British photography that I have always loved – one which documents the many and varied tribes and clans and classes that make up this island of ours,” said Christopher Bailey in a statement. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to gather together this collection of photographs, that have influenced me so much over the years. They provide a portrait of British life, in all its nuances, both exceptional and mundane, beautiful and harsh.”

Spanning over three floors in the room of the Old Sessions House, the exhibition will be held at Burberry’s show venue in London’s Clerkenwell. ‘Here We Are’ is divided into separate themes which aim to reflect the different aspects of British living. The new exposition will feature more than 200 photographs from iconic photographers, such as Dafydd Jones, Bill Brandt, Brian Griffin, Shirley Baker, Jane Bown, Martin Parr, Jo Spence, Ken Russell, Charlie Phillips, Karen Knorr, Janette Beckman and Andy Sewell.

“I have long been enchanted by British “social portraiture” – photography that reveals the ways in which we live, work, dream, celebrate and challenge, both individually and collectively,” said Lucy Kumara Moore. “I was therefore honoured to be invited by Christopher to curate this exhibition with him – he has such a deep personal interest in the work and his idea to host this exhibition reflects the brand’s expansive approach to the relation between fashion and visual culture.”

‘Here We Are’ is co-curated by Alasdair McLellan, who is Burberry’s latest creative collaborator, and will include a selection of over 70 of his photographs - the largest number of his work displayed to date. McLellan’s latest work, which sees the photographer capturing portfolios of images for Burberry, will be posted on August 29 onwards on the fashion house’s social media channel, with new portraits dropping over the next coming months.

The photography exhibition is set to open on September 18, two days after Burberry is set to show its September collection for women and men during London Fashion Week. Following its show on September 16, at 7pm, the fashion house is set to launch its collection for sale immediately and exhibit it at the Old Sessions House. “It’s the spirit of those photographs – sometimes ironic, sometimes tender, always truthful – that has guided our September collection,” added Bailey. “Together they will form an exhibition in our new show space, celebrating a very British way of life and way of dressing.”

‘Here We Are’ is set to run from September 18 to October 1 and is open to the public. In addition to hosting the photography exhibition, a series of workshops will also run within Old Sessions House.

Photo: Dafydd Jones, Magdalen Commemoration Ball, Oxford, 1988. Courtesy of Burberry