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Duovision: Championing art & fashion

Where do aspiring fashion designers and artists turn to for help? If you describe yourself in one of those terms you may be interested in learning more about Duovision. Duovision is the brainchild of art curators Martin Green and James Lawler, and their mission is to champion the work of artists they believe to be undervalued. With several high profile exhibitions and events already under their belt in Merseyside, our roving  reporter John ‘Rez’ McLaughlin spoke to James and Martin to find out more about what they do and what their plans are for the future.

Rez: What is the personal history of Duovision?

James Lawler (JL): I began my career in the 80’s working on events with Jayne Casey who really encouraged and inspired me to do my own thing. Later on in the 90’s I went to university and studied Art & Design History, after graduating I began working as an independent art curator putting on exhibitions in Liverpool, Manchester and at Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

“Thanks to the fantastic James & Martin i recently got in touch with Zandra Rhodes where i did an internship at her studio. I also got to live at zandra’s which was a privilege!!! She was a darling to meet and none of this would of happened without the help of you!!! Thank you! I send my love.” – Jessica Bonarius

Martin Green (MG): I’m the London based half of Duovision and have had a twenty year career in music, art and fashion which has brought me into close contact with many of the people we have since championed as ignored or undervalued cultural figures. I have also worked as a DJ both here and internationally, complied albums of lost music and was behind the club ‘Smashing’ which is credited as the birthplace of Britpop.

Rez. How did the partnership come about?

JL: We got to know each other through mutual friends we have around the London creative scene. We have a similar aesthetic which makes working together easy and very natural. I was curating an exhibition called ‘Pin Ups’ at The Gallery Liverpool on Stanhope Street in the Independent Quarter, Martin helped with a few aspects of that and as we got along so well the idea of working together seemed an obvious progression and Duovision began to take shape.

MG: Our first project was with an artist called Duggie Fields who was, for us, a pivotal figure in the Post-Modern movement but who’s amazing contribution had largely been ignored. We decided to mount a retrospective of Duggie’s work, including old and new pieces, and we knew Liverpool and The Gallery Liverpool where the ideal places to do this.

Rez: Which led into the Andrew Logan exhibition?

JL: Yes the Duggie Fields exhibtion was closely followed by one of work by his lifelong friend Andrew Logan. I have worked alongside Gary Everett from Homotopia for many years and have always had great support from him. Both exhibitions were supported by Homotopia and coincided with the Liverpool Biennial so benefited from some great exposure. Martin has been involved with Andrew’s world for a long time so the whole thing came together quite smoothly. The hardest part was selecting what work to include as he has such an amazing legacy.

MG: Andrew was and is responsible for championing and encouraging so much new talent. He has been an important figure for both of us culturally, and for many people who have come out of that scene over the years.

Rez: With arts funding being cut across the UK how are you managing to organise future events?

Duggie Fields exhibition photography by David Ellision

Duggie Fields exhibition photography by David Ellision

JL: We are really lucky to have the encouragement and support of pretty well established figures in the creative arts and we have great grass roots support from local organisations like The Gallery Liverpool as well as people such as Richard Salmon in London. We do work hard to make sure our projects are attractive propositions before we approach anyone outside of Duovision. Our advice to anybody interested in securing arts funding right now? Have really well formed projects that are attractive to funders and venues.

Rez: On that note do you have any projects coming up?

MG: We are currently planning some projects in conjunction with the Bluecoat which will focus on the work of David Holah who was one half of the creative genius behind fashion label Bodymap. We will be looking at his contemporary practice and include archive work from the times when they collaborated with dancer and choreographer Michael Clark and creative legend Leigh Bowery. We also intend to have a fashion / performance event working with local students and performers to coincide with the exhibition which will be happening in Autumn this year.

Rez: Anything you would like to say to creative people reading this article who may be feeling disheartened?

JL: Personally we have been inspired by the likes of Duggie and Andrew, who carry on doing what they do, regardless of current fashions, or if it brings monetary gain; having the self confidence to believe in your own work will always shine through.

Duovision

To see the work of some of the artists mentioned in this article please visit the Gallery website. You’ll be glad you did.

Duovision can be contacted via their Facebook page.

 

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Posted in art, britpop, Duovision, exhibitions, fashion, fashion design

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