Lucie Loves… Art // #Photoblogged ICA Off-Site: A Journey Through London Subculture: 1980s to Now


I recently stumbled upon a rather mind-blowing art exhibition. It was one of those Sundays where you find yourself in the centre of London with some rather rare time on your hands. Utter luxury.

I wandered rather aimlessly around the streets behind Selfridges and found some amazing wedding boutiques (which I’ll soon be blogging about), whiskey shops, and even a chess & bridge store. I found a part of London I wasn’t even aware existed and all because I’d run out of battery on my iPhone and didn’t have a clue where I was. 

And so it happened that I came across the rather inconspicuous looking entrance to the ICA Off-Site exhibition: A Journey Through London Subculture: 1980s to Now. It was secreted away within the walls of the rather fabulous Old Selfridges Hotel on Orchard Street. I instantly felt my creative inner child breathe a sigh of relief.

The beauty of attending art exhibitions on your own is that you don’t have to worry about spending to long or too little appreciating/trying-to-figure-out a piece.

 The ICA exhibition aimed to illustrate “a perceived thread of creativity between the post-punk era and the present day - a legacy that underpins London’s incredible creative potential in the present.”

The fifty carefully curated mdf vitrines, each stating its owner rather simply on its side, pleased me almost as much as the way my brain recognised the importance of each of the artists featured in the show. You couldn’t help but be drawn to each and every display case, peering inside to see what fresh time-travelling wonders awaited you. It was like peering back into the past. I was in awe of the fact that all of these individuals were working simultaneously, creating bodies of work that would define an era.

From photography to fashion, collage to video installations. From painting to mixed-media, illustration and found objects. The exhibition was like seeing all of these unique disciplines holding hands at one giant party. I loved it.

Artists included: 

Nicola Tyson, John Maybury, Andy The Furniture Maker / Paul Oremland, David Robilliard, Gilbert & George, House of Beauty & Culture, Dick Jewell
Scarlett Cannon, Iain R Webb, Princess Julia, Mark Lebon, NATØ, Jeffrey Hinton, Charles Atlas, Michael Clark Company, BodyMap, John Crancher, Delirium, Wildlife Archive, Kinky Gerlinky, John Akomfrah, Blacktronica, Frieze, YBA, Factual Nonsense, Imprint 93, Sarah Lucas and Angus Fairhurst, Clerkenwell Studio, Big Bottom, St John, Inventory, David Adjaye, Zaha Hadid Architects, Fig. 1, Alexander McQueen, Scott King, Bart Wells Institute, Martino Gamper, Julie Verhoeven, Fashion East, Mark Leckey and donAtella donAteller, Giles Deacon, Boombox, Radio Egypt, White Cubicle, Bistrotheque, Bonnie Camplin, Parade, Haroon Mirza, Café OTO, Peles Empire, Åbäke, Anthea Hamilton, Clunie Reid, Max Lamb, IDEA Books, Charlie Porter, Publication, Studio Voltaire, Chisenhale Gallery, Lucky PDF, James Richards, Emily Wardill, Vogue Fabrics Nightclub, Sibling, Meadham & Kirchhoff, Serpentine Edgware Road Project, Anal House Meltdown, J W Anderson, Bethan Laura Wood, Matthew Darbyshire, Louise Gray, Katrina Palmer, Eloise Hawser, Louise Gray and Tyrone Lebon. 

Art makes me happy. It makes me feel alive. I don’t go to nearly enough Art exhibitions and this makes me feel like a bad person. Note to self: new years resolution - get it sorted.

Photography © Lucie Kerley