This morning I was able to don a hard hat, high visibility jacket and some sturdy steel-capped boots and go exploring in what will be the new East Wing Galleries at Somerset House. I didn’t really look my usual well-groomed self but the builders seemed to enjoy me tripping around the site. My ‘gorgeous’ boots were several sizes too big and although it was rather fun, I was pleased to return to my stilettos.
The boots. Own photograph.
These beautiful new galleries (you may have to use your imagination a bit at the moment) will be the home for the London stop of In Conversation with Stuart Sutcliffe next year – an exciting touring exhibition.
The new East Galleries at Somerset House. Own photograph.
Sutcliffe’s importance to the Beatles must not be underestimated – he was one of the founder members, the original bass player during their early years, and a close friend of John Lennon. Stuart Sutcliffe’s sad and sudden death (attributed to an aneurysm) is part of Beatles’ folklore, a poignant story of a young man whose promising career was tragically cut short.
Stuart Sutcliffe in Hamburg, 1960-61. Image via www.stuartsutcliffeart.com.
In July 1961, Sutcliffe decided to leave The Beatles to concentrate on his art, enrolling at the Hamburg College of Art under the tutelage of Eduardo Paolozzi, who considered him one of his best students. Known as the 5th Beatle, Sutcliffe was a fantastic young artist who showed huge potential and the legacy of his work has been seen all over the world.
Stuart Sutcliffe, Untitled, Red Portrait. Image via www.stuartsutcliffeart.com.
We’re bringing a great collection of Sutcliffe works over from the States and, as if that isn’t good enough, the exhibition will include a number of artists’ responses to Sutcliffe’s life and work. Artists involved and creating works for the show are Michael Ajerman, Andrew Bick, Kit Craig, Andrew Curtis, Nick Goss, Mark Hampson, Jann Haworth, Serena Korda, Laura Lancaster, Bob Matthews, Bruce McLean, Marilene Oliver, Flora Parrott, Martina Schmid, Steven Scott, Jamie Shovlin, Sergei Sviatchenko, Jessica Voorsanger, Stephen Walter and Uwe Wittwer. The final few will be confirmed this month so keep watch for more news.
Excited? You should be! We are! They are! It’s going to be an amazing exhibition.
The Crypt Gallery, Liverpool (stop 2). Own photograph.
In Conversation with Stuart Sutcliffe will be hosted by CCA&A in Hamburg from 10th April – 9th May 2012, by the Crypt Gallery at the Contemporary Urban Centre in Liverpool from 18th May – 23rd June and by Somerset House in London from 4th July – 27th August. New York dates are to be confirmed.