Alison Goldfrapp: Performer As Curator

Review by Fern Logue | 01 Feb 2014

Best known as one half of the electro duo that performs under her surname, Alison Goldfrapp is famed not only for her versatile vocals but also for her intriguing and eclectic, personal style. In the first of a series of annual exhibitions at The Lowry in Salford, we see a selection of artwork chosen by the musician from a range of national and international collections. This exhibition offers a rare insight into Goldfrapp's inspiration, style and artistic vision – through the work of photographers, film-makers, illustrators and painters.

The series, entitled Performer as Curator, bridges the gap between performance and the visual arts, connecting Goldfrapp’s work with the imagery that inspires it and acting as a sort of journal. Alison Goldfrapp is the artistic director of all the band's image and the imagery that it produces – the thought process behind her captivating live performance and original costume design can certainly be traced through the various works that she has brought together. The exhibition is full of imagery from fairytales and myths, often honing in on the dark aspects of the genre. The works also stimulate ideas of metamorphosis and identity – something which can be seen in abundance when looking at Goldfrapp’s own various stylistic transformations and reinventions.

The exhibition includes works by a vast array of artists; such as former Vogue photographer Deborah Turbeville, photographer Anna Fox, Turner Prize shortlisted sculptor Anya Gallaccio, early nineteenth century literary painter Henry Liverseege, Canada’s Marcel Dzama and contemporary British artists such as Georgie Hopton and Simon Periton.

Goldfrapp’s performances (think back to Glastonbury 2004 or T In The Park 2006), have seen Alison donning a horse’s tail, being surrounded by dancing stags and, in other shows, amongst werewolves. This strong interest in wild animals and dark fairytale themes is showcased throughout the exhibition in multiple styles and media – from Henry Liverseege’s 1830 oil-painting Little Red Riding Hood and Anya Gallaccio’s Snow White-esque Revons D’ôr. The provocative Country Girls by Anna Fox is one of the most striking images in the show, the viewer sees a close-up of a pair of bright red heels on a woman's bare legs which are lying in the undergrowth, and wonders what dreadful thing has happened. Simon Periton’s Mask draws on the images of the forest but also brings forth ideas of identity – something which the exhibition as a whole offers.

The Performer as Curator exhibiton gives the viewer a huge insight into Alison Goldfrapp’s unique style and vision – it's enjoyably dark and an absolute must for both fans of her style and of her music.

The Lowry, until 2 Mar http://