On Saturday 18th March Wakefield gallery opened the doors to the ‘Disobedient Bodies’ exhibition curated by fashion designer J.W Anderson. The exhibition explored the human body through art and fashion.
Stephanie Macdonald of 6a Architects designed the show with her business partner Tom Emerson. They approached the space with a new form of intimacy, creating a series of rooms through the use of hanging fabrics from J.W.Anderson’s archive.
The exhibit showcased over 100 works of 20th and 21st century art, fashion, ceramics and design. Each piece was selected to talk about the body and its form. The show was homage to Anderson’s favourite fashion figures such as, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gautier, Rei Kawakubo, Helmut Land, Issey Miyake and Vivienne Westwood. He displayed their iconic works alongside sculpted forms of Henry Moore, Sarah Lucas and Barbara Hepworth.
The exhibition has displayed in a compare-and-contrast formula – each piece being displayed for a reason conflicting or harmonising with the surrounding objects. Anderson explained, “What Yohji Yamamoto does is just as important as Barbara Hepworth. You can achieve sculptural form in clothing.”
Anderson currently works as Creative Director of his label JW Anderson and of Spanish luxury house Loewe. During his entire career he has explored ideas of deliberate gender confusion and how fabric can create unique forms on the body. One of his aims of this show, he said, was to remove the body from the garment and allow the viewer to see it for what it is, and highlight its tactile and sculptural qualities.
At the centre of the space, there was a room full of 28 oversized elongated vivid jumpers hung ceiling to floor. Visitors were encouraged to interact with the knits – transforming their own bodies into abstract forms.