A unique exhibition combining different disciplines and areas of expertise in East London’s newest independent gallery. The Wayward Gallery is the latest offshoot of London-based skateboard crew, the Palace Wayward Boys Choir (PWBC), whose recent profile in i-D Magazine outlined the increasing popularity of their skateboard and clothing line. The exhibition space furthers the brand’s elevation into high art and fashion, locating itself in the heart of the East end’s independent gallery scene in the vibrant Vyner Street area.
The series of images that form the foundation of this, one of the first shows at the newly opened gallery, began as a visual collaboration between a fashion stylist, a photographer, and an illustrator. The three individuals worked closely together throughout the process, embellishing the project with their contrasting creative skills.
Helen McGuckin is a freelance fashion stylist who has spent the last few years assisting on editorials, catwalk shows and designer look-books. She has worked with respected publications such as Tank, Wallpaper*, and Dazed & Confused, and has assisted a host of high-profile stylists, including Francesca Burns, Victoria Young, and Katie Shillingford. Utilising specific pieces from emerging designers such as Rachel Freire and Obey My Demand, and more established brands including Beatrix Ong and Lascivious, Helen has infused the LEVIATHAN shoot with an equestrian elegance which combines elements of bondage wear with chic lingerie.
Photographer Patrick Schuttler is developing an ever-expanding career, which ranges from fashion and reportage to travel and advertising. His unique approach to this particular shoot has seen him adhering to the intentions of his collaborators, and allowing space within the images for the proposed illustrative elements.
Tom J. Newell is a comic-book artist and illustrator who has produced intricately hand-drawn artworks for John Richmond, Dazed & Confused, and Moshi Moshi Records. For this particular project he has created an array of two-dimensional, armour-clad foes, chrome accessories and imaginary weapons, which adorn and interact with models in the photographs.
The resulting images are a visual clash between photography and illustration, fashion and art, and imagination and reality. This collision of artistic processes will be further explored in the exhibition space by the inclusion of a series of textual compositions written by Simon Mowforth, and a pre-recorded piece of experimental music performed by the band Barcelona.
Simon Mowforth is a recent graduate of English Literature who is currently working on his first book and taking an M.A in Chinese Studies. His contribution to this show is a series of textual responses to the images, inspired by Niccolò Machiavelli’s book on the strategies and philosophies of conflict and power, The Prince.
Barcelona are a recently formed group of experimental musicians who have recorded a bespoke soundtrack in response to the themes raised by the images of the LEVITHAN show.The band's founding members, Thom Barnett and Charles Watson are better known for their roles as drummer for The Heebie Jeebies, and singer/guitarist for Slow Club respectively. The Heebie Jeebies have recently completed an extensive European tour and are due to release their debut single later this year. Slow Club released their critically acclaimed debut album, Yeah So last year, and their latest video stars a forlorn Mackenzie Crook mouthing the lyrics to the band’s Giving Up On Love single.
This infusion of music and literature into the existing visual collaboration of fashion, photography and art will highlight the intertwining relationships between the various creative disciplines involved, developing a sizeable guest-list from the contributors alone, and ultimately creating a significant and exciting event in what is set to be one of the best alternative exhibition spaces in the busy Vyner Street artistic community.
‘When the smoke clear, you can see the sky again. There will be the chopped-off heads of Leviathan.’