added: 16 Sep 2013
// gig date: 11 Sep 2013
reviewer: Daisy Jones
This Wednesday saw the exhibition launch party of ‘For You I was a Flame’ in Camden Town’s Proud Gallery’s. The exhibition consists of a collection of iconic and beautiful photographs of Amy Winehouse and marks one of the many events this month in celebration of the late singers 30th Birthday, as well as raising money for ‘The Amy Winehouse Foundation’. In other words, it’s basically going to be a month-long party. The charity set up 18 months ago, works to prevent the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people and, in the words of Amy’s father, Mitch, “aims to support, inform and inspire vulnerable and disadvantaged young people to help them reach their full potential.”
The exhibition itself was a stunning and moving documentation of a singer who was well known to be a vibrant and bright character during her life. Photographs included then-20 year-old Amy Winehouse in a launderette to her now iconic NME front cover taken by Dean Chalky in 2011. Selections of artwork by Amy’s family were also donated to the cause, as well as street signs from Camden town covered in written tributes from fans.
The launch party was, of course, a bittersweet affair. For whilst it was primarily a celebration of the time in which Amy Winehouse was alive, it has also been a mere three years since her passing and this made the exhibition feel particularly raw. This was further compounded by the presence of many of her family members and friends and the surrounding location of Camden’s Stables Market - right in the heart of the community that knew her most. One cannot imagine the bizarre experience of being surrounded my photographs of a girl you knew so well yet isn’t here anymore.
The venue was aptly stylish. Swathed in red lighting, the main exhibition space acted as the entrance to a collection of smaller rooms that included karaoke rooms, dancing poles covered in silver glitter and an outside space with a bubbling hot tub. For whilst the sad events surrounding Amy’s death clouded much of her dominance in the media, the exhibition presents her at her glitzy best. Beautiful images of a much-loved singer.
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