I was super excited to visit Cancer Research UK‘s charitable exhibition about David Bowie yesterday. Curated by the V&A, "Fame, Fashion & Photography" brings together the work of renowned rock photographers Denis O’Regan and Chalkie Davies plus fashion photographer Tony McGee. The exhibition is only running for 12 days and an online auction is currently live, allowing you to bid for every piece with all proceeds going to the charity.
David Bowie died of liver cancer at the start of this year and the loss of such a huge icon created a seismic vibration around the globe. That this exhibition has been pulled together in just 6 months is very impressive, especially considering that many of the images in the showcase have never been seen before by the public.
I arrived at midday having booked my free ticket online. This wasn’t actually necessary as there were no queues and no one was checking the tickets. However, evenings and weekends will probably be much busier so best to grab one just in case.
The venue is The Hub on Heddon Street in Central London, which is exactly opposite where Bowie was photographed for the cover of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars in 1972, so if you’re a fan it’s worth going along simply for this reasons if you’ve never been before.
The showcase is limited to one room with 27 images in it, so don’t come expecting it to be anything like the scale of the David Bowie Is… exhibition. You can easily have a good look through everything in 20 minutes, maybe longer if it is very busy. The selection spans 3 decades, showing Bowie at varying stages of his epic career: by the Berlin Wall, on the set of Labyrinth, announcing the end of Ziggy onstage at the Hammersmith Odeon. There are original contact sheets, concert shots and behind the scenes snaps. You can see all the images at the online auction, but I would rather not give too many spoilers… apart from just one: this incredibly emotional triptych of Bowie listening to "A Change Is Gonna Come’ by Bobby Womack in 1990 was by far my fave and I only wish I had £1k to buy it!
If, like me, you’re a mega Bowie fan then I would definitely recommend getting down there asap whilst it is quiet as the next 12 days will go very quickly! It’s the perfect location for this exhibition and all the money raised goes to an excellent charity.