Judy Blame, Never Again, at ICA 29 June - 4 September

Judy Blame, Never Again, at ICA 29 June - 4 September

Judy Blame: Never Again 
29 June – 4 September 2016 
ICA, Lower Gallery

The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, is pleased to present the first major solo exhibition by accessories designer, art director and fashion stylist Judy Blame.
Safety pins, buttons, badges, pearls, bottle tops, cutlery, plastic bags, toy soldiers and keys form an inventory of objects that Blame has innovatively adapted to create his trademark jewellery and other accessories.

In the early 1980’s Blame’s non-conformist attitude and a desire to distinguish himself within the London club scene motivated him to produce jewellery. His modest resources shaped his DIY approach and led him to incorporate found objects as a foundation for making his adornments; early creations questioned established material hierarchies and were testimony to the harsh realities of industrial and economic decline. It was during this period that he encountered a range of creative individuals including Derek Jarman, Anthony Price, John Maybury and Leigh Bowery who championed his inventive approach to making fashion accessories.

In 1985 Blame helped John Moore set up The House of Beauty and Culture in Dalston, London, a craft collective of like-minded artists including Fiona Skinner, Dave Baby, Fiona Bowen, John Flett, Peter Foster, Mark Lebon, Alan Macdonald & Fritz Solomon (Fric & Frack), Richard Torry and Christopher Nemeth. This collective experience proved to be the first of many important collaborations as a consultant with various designers including John Galliano, Rifat Ozbek, Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pugh, Marc Jacobs and Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton.

A further significant figure in Blame’s continued growth as a creative polymath was Ray Petri, nexus of the pseudo-corporate fashion collective Buffalo, who encouraged him to focus his talents as a fashion stylist. Blame was soon producing iconic fashion editorials with a range of photographers including Mark Lebon, Mark Mattock, Jean Baptiste Mondino and Juergen Teller for publications such as i-D, BLITZ and The Face. His instinctive ability to create symbolic images that embodied radical elements of popular culture and fashion led to an extensive career in the music industry as an art director and image consultant for iconic figures such as Boy George, Neneh Cherry, Kylie Minogue, Massive Attack and Bjork.

Throughout his career and still today Blame has maintained his artistic underpinning of making jewellery from found and re-purposed objects which continue to inspire alongside his prolific contributions via social media, revealing his idiosyncratic and resourceful approach to life through images and objects.

The exhibition is presented as a montage rather than a chronology that brings together an arrangement of artefacts, including clothing, collages, jewellery, fashion editorials, sketchbooks and T-shirts alongside unique commissions that bear witness to Blame’s tactile, thought-provoking,approach to fashion and his propensity towards collaboration and experimentation.

Judy Blame’s exhibition follows recent explorations into the 1980s including a presentation of drawings by artist and infamous night-clubber Trojan (2012), an ICA Off-Site project entitled A Journey Through London Subculture: 1980s to Now (2013) as well as exhibitions of paintings by the late poet David Robilliard (2014) and photographs by Smiler, aka Mark Cawson (2015). Judy Blame: Never Again seeks to present an evaluation of his creative approach and draw parallels between his practice and how a more recent generation work today.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited edition zine compiled by Judy Blame.


John Jones are pleased to have provided the framing for this exhibition. For more information about John Jones framing for exhibitions, contact us

Image: courtesy Judy Blame

For further press information and images, please contact: Victoria Heald | Press Manager ICA | | 020 7766 1407 

Listings information: Judy Blame: Never Again 29 June – 4 September 2016 Lower Gallery

Gallery opening hours: Tues – Sun 11am – 6pm, except Thurs, 11am – 9pm. Closed Mon. | Twitter @icalondon | Book online Call Box Office +44 (0)20 7930 3647 Textphone +44 (0)20 7839 0737 Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

About Judy Blame:

Judy Blame has worked at the forefront of jewellery design, fashion styling and art direction for over 35 years. He was one of the architects and key faces of London’s underground club culture – a boom time for unfettered creativity whose energies continue to fuel the fashion industry today. It was in those days of dressing up for endless nights out that he adopted the name Judy Blame and became one of the legendary figures of London nightlife. Blame also ventured into styling fashion shoots and cover stories for the London magazines i-D, The Face and Blitz. Collaborating with his friends the shoemaker John Moore, fashion designer Christopher Nemeth and knitwear designer Richard Torry, he set up the legendary boutique The House of Beauty and Culture in east London. In the early 2000s he was contacted by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, who invited him to sell his jewellery in her Dover Street Market stall. In the wake of his work with Comme des Garçons, the fashion establishment began to acknowledge his longstanding and uncompromising commitment to creativity. He continues to style for i-D magazine as well as leading men’s bi-annuals Numero Homme, GQ Style and Another Man.

About the ICA:
Founded in 1946, the ICA seeks to embrace the urgency surrounding contemporary art and culture. Continually looking forward, the ICA lays claim to an extraordinary legacy, being home to the Independent Group, as well as playing a pivotal role in the development of Pop Art, Op Art and Brutalist Architecture. It charted the course of Punk, Performance, Independent Cinema and Young British Art, while showcasing numerous international artists, from Yoko Ono to Gerhard Richter. The ICA has always supported interdisciplinary practice, encouraging artists to experiment and explore unresolved ideas. Comprising film screenings, exhibitions, talks and events, the ICA Programme can be experienced at our base on The Mall, via our website and social media, or as 'Off-Site' projects at alternative venues, nationally and internationally. The ICA has a longstanding fascination with the evolution of Pop culture in our mass digital age.
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848