Ken Russell Exhibition opens with Private Viewing

Last week, an exhibition of rarely-seen photographs by Ken Russell of Teddy Girls and Boys, taken in the 1950s, went on display at The North Wall Arts Centre.

Launching The North Wall’s 10th Anniversary year celebrations, the exhibit opened with a private view on 1st February, attended by more than 80 people. Featuring a viewing of The Who’s rock-opera Tommy, directed by Russell, guests, including a former Teddy Boy featured in Russell’s work and Russell’s wife Lisi Tribble, were treated to an advanced viewing of this often forgotten chapter of his work.

The Ted, as those associated were often known, were a British phenomenon that found its roots in working-class areas of London in the early 1950s. They owe their name to the Edwardian aristocratic clothing style they adopted and made their own.

The Oscar-nominated film director was a freelance photographer early in his career, before starting work in film working on BBC documentaries. Taken in 1955, Russell’s pictures show a generation born during the Second World War expressing a subculture fixated on style, appearance, and fashion, despite their near synonymous association with juvenile delinquency.

Ken Russell's Teddy Girls and Boys:  Picture: Ric Mellis

Photo Copyright of Ric Mellis

The exhibition, containing 50 pieces by Ken Russell seen together for the first time, is open to the public at The North Wall until Saturday 18th February. Admission is free and the gallery is open 10am – 4pm Monday – Friday, and 12pm – 4pm on Saturdays.

The North Wall, now in its tenth year, is an award-winning arts centre that was established with the support of, among others, Alan Bennett, George Fenton, Judi Dench and Richard Attenborough. It features a 200-seat theatre, dance studio and art gallery, and has played host to hundreds of the world’s biggest names.

The North Wall’s mission to provide opportunities for artists, young people and the general public to make and experience art of the highest quality is a great asset for St Edward’s pupils to have access to on site. The tenth anniversary celebrations of The North Wall will see another full and exciting programme delivered through the year. Head over to their website to find out what’s coming up.


Main header image: photograph copyright of Ken Russell / TopFoto.

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