Photograph by Mark Mattock.
Judy Blame (1960-2018) was an alchemist. Using the most basic of items - bones, plastic
soldiers, string - he created jewellery that transcended it’s humble origins and attained the status
Judy was a child of the early eighties club scene, that brief spell when the guest list at Taboo read like a Who’s Who of future cultural icons. He came to prominence alongside fellow creatives like Leigh Bowery, David Holah, John Galliano, Derek Jarman, John Maybury and Scarlett Cannon.
In 1985 he helped John Moore to set up The House of Beauty and Culture in Dalston. Producing and working alongside people as diverse as Christopher Nemeth and Dave Baby The House of Beauty and Culture became a kind of blueprint for later collaborations with designers like Comme des Garcons, Gareth Pugh and Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton.
His styling career was kickstarted by a friendship with Ray Petri, the polymath at the centre of the Buffalo collective. He was always in demand as a stylist working to reshape the careers of artists like Neneh Cherry, Bjork, Boy George, Kylie Minogue, Massive Attack and Iggy Pop.
His exhibition at the I.C.A. in 2016 featuring prints, collages as well as jewellery demonstrated the deeper aspects of his image making. His images are more than just startling visually, they have a political message too. Judy’s mantra was both simple and effective.
Make something. Wear it. Cause trouble.
As a teenager, Judy Blame was already designing and making jewellery from found objects and after moving to London discovered ‘mudlarking’, which would see him scouring the banks of the River Thames looking for bones and buttons with which to make his joyful, extraordinary works. These can be seen in Blame’s second only public exhibition in SWG3’s Railway Arch (No. 21) in Eastvale Place. It features Couture Clash (1983-1989) comprising twenty-two framed collages, exhibited with Assorted Jewellery (2005-2018) and Blame’s Art Rehabilitation collages, made before and after rehabilitation treatment in 1999. He once stated “I don’t think that a diamond is better than a safety pin; to me it’s just a thing or a shape.”
Judy Blame - Available Nowhere
April 20th - May 7th
SWG3 - Railway Arch (No. 21)
Mon – Sat: 10am-6pm / Sun: 12 noon-6pm
Commissioned by SWG3 as part of Glasgow International 2018