by Mischa Richter
24 July 2006
This summer, a host of Pop Stars will descend on Sunderland as part of a new exhibition at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.
This fascinating exhibition of seventy photographs of British pop stars by leading British photographers charts the changing styles and image of pop stardom from the 1950s to the present day. The wide range of artists included in the exhibition starts in the 1950s with Lonnie Donnegan and Cliff Richard and comes right up to date with Amy Winehouse Girls Aloud and Franz Ferdinand - via the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, Pet Shop Boys and the Spice Girls. Several of the stars whose portraits are on show have close connections with the North East.
A new photograph of Maximo Park, specially taken for the exhibition by Newcastle born photographer Chris Owens will be on show for the first time. Also on show will be memorabilia relating to the music scene in the North East, including gig tickets, posters and programmes from venues such as the Bay Hotel, Sunderland, and the Metro Radio Arena.
Schools and community groups have been engaged in various activities as part of the project. Some of the excellent work they produced will also be on display. A special addition to the exhibition is a juke-box that will showcase upcoming bands from Sunderland's current music scene. A wide-ranging programme of events and activities has been organised to accompany the exhibition.
'For a pop singer or group, being photographed is a vital part of the pop process. The result can be a visual manifesto: this is what we are, what we want to be, where we're from and where we're going; these are our influences; this is what we want to say.'
Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys), Icons of Pop, National Portrait Gallery, 1999
This is the fifth year that Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens has been part of a Strategic Commissioning Partnership Project with the National Portrait Gallery.
Funded by DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and DfES (Department for Education and Skills).
Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
30 June - 27 August 2007