Where: White Cloth Gallery, Leeds
£: 7 (for upcoming events see the website)
What was it?
The White Cloth Gallery in Leeds is currently running an exhibition of Bowie photographs taken from the Duffy archive covering a period of ten years in Bowie’s career. The images include shots from the Aladdin Sane album cover, the set for the Lodger and of Bowie’s Thin White Duke character.
The launch evening on 2nd May gave the chance to get a first glimpse of the collection of images to a soundtrack of Bowie songs spun by DJs. Limited edition merchandise, CDs on sale from Crash Records and a charity auction offered the opportunity to take a bit of the evening home.
There was some background information about how the Aladdin Sane album cover was developed into the iconic image it is, offering some context to the images on display. Turns out that famous lightning bolt across the face evolved from a mish-mash of people and ideas rather than being a pre-planned concept.
Kevin Cann’s short talk on Bowie was the most interesting part of the launch evening. His anecdotal and amusing delivery shed some light on the genius of how Bowie invented and styled himself and his music. He also showed a clip of an interview with Mick Ronson before he died. Ronson narrates in his very comedic and down to earth style how he first met up with Bowie. Cann recounted a fruitless pilgrimage to Bowie’s old residence, Haddon Hall in Beckenham. Where once an artistic commune stood, an old people’s home now stands. Given the age of Bowie now, perhaps there is some symmetry in this, but it does seem a shame that the hall was never preserved.
The exhibition is well worth a look at if you happen to be in Leeds, it’s a compact glimpse into the changing image of a musician over a decade. Sadly Contrary Life didn’t have the funds to take home a limited edition print from the exhibition to adorn the walls, but we still left feeling a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.
More info: www.whiteclothgallery.com