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Herbert Art Gallery review: Daniel Lismore Exhibition


Daniel Lismore: Be Yourself - Everyone Else Is Already Taken, Herbert Art Gallery, to June 26.

Reviewed by KEELEY BROWN

This show is, quite frankly, brilliant.

It explores the work of the Coventry-born Daniel, who has built an international reputation as an artist and stylist, having collaborated with such leading names as fashion designer Alexander McQueen, Icelandic musician and actress Bjork, Mariah Carey, and many others.

The show, being staged as part of City of Culture events, is spread over a number of rooms. In the first, a short film has Daniel talking about why he does what he does. It's here that you learn that he isn't simply an artist or performer - he is the art. He tells how he started his career, the prejudices he has experienced and the celebrities, pop stars and designers he has worked with and influenced. The exhibition continues through several rooms that collectively house 50 "sculptures" all by Daniel and based on him: Life-size creations that combine haute couture with items from his personal collection of thousands of unique curiosities, from vintage items he has collected along the way, to household objects and fabrics, to precious stones and gifts from grateful celebrities. You could look at these sculptures for hours and always spot something new; I haven’t seen anything quite like this before. In one part of the exhibition, Daniel combines a specially created scent to work alongside the pieces which is coupled with music to make it an exhibit more smelled than seen. As well as creating sculptures from an artistic perspective, there are several pieces that clearly represent his views on sustainable fashion. Daniel was in attendance on the day that I visted the show and he spoke about always re-using items to create something new, along with feeling passionate about campaigning for climate change, and LGBTQIA+ rights. He was more than happy to have photos taken and speak to people, really bringing to life the art that he is...and the message and experiences he wants to share.

This is a thoroughly engaging, interesting and thought-provoking experience.

For information and to book free tickets go to: https://www.theherbert.org/

Picture: Daniel with just some of his amazing creations