Introduction

– Professor Frances Corner OBE

What is so pertinent about the subject of the exhibition Drawing and the Body is the fact that, for both fashion and fine art, the body is central to their histories and to their current preoccupations. For each discipline, members of staff, students and graduates have explored what it means to be clothed, naked or nude, how the body is given presence through clothing and how the body interacts and occupies space. Having the opportunity to share these preoccupations with another institution is central to the development of artistic and design practices. This new ambitious exhibition, which takes place at KG 52 Gallery, Stockholm, will extend the debate about the body and its place in the development of fashion, showing how drawing is central in these debates. This exhibition presents an exceptional range of work by sixteen fashion designers and illustrators, costume designers and artists from London College of Fashion. It includes work by young up and coming practitioners as well as established, high profile figures as Professor Helen Storey MBE (Fellow of the RSA ), Professor Lucy Orta (artist, environmentalist and Member of the European Cultural Parliament) and Charlotte Hodes (winner of Jerwood Drawing Prize 2006).

Drawing and the Body is the third within a series of exhibitions developed by London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. It has been preceded by the shows When Photography and Drawing Meet Fashion, at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2009), and Drawing Towards Fashion, at Fashion Space Gallery of London College of Fashion (2007). These exhibitions highlighted the crucial role that, for students, researchers and practitioners, drawing plays within creative thinking and the fashion design process. They also disclosed an insight into the ongoing dialogue about drawing that is currently taking place at London College of Fashion. The intention of Drawing and the Body is to explore the relationship between drawing and the body, which indeed constitutes a primary concern within fashion design. From the material and individual body, designers and practitioners in fact reinvent and redefine the concept, shape and even movement of the body. All the participants in the exhibition contribute to create a dialogue, bringing in their own particular perspective as well as being representative of the wide range of approaches towards drawing that is evident at London College of Fashion.