It’s Time For The Bright Old Things

At House of Coco we love Selfridges as they always dare to be different. In a twist on its Bright Young Things scheme, Selfridges is readjusting the lens with which we view exciting new talent – removing the age restrictions and celebrating the Bright Old things.

As part of the campaign, the Whitworth, Manchester’s gallery in the park, is in residence at Selfridges Exchange Square with a specially commissioned exhibition and talks series that features artists who found success in their later years.

The Bright Old Things exhibition launches in-store today (8 January, until 28 February), ahead of the Whitworth’s reopening on 14 February, following a £15million transformation.

Curated by Dr. Maria Balshaw, Director of the Whitworth and Manchester City Galleries, the exhibition – highlighting the ageless nature of creativity – includes: Zapp

• Icarus (2012) by Susie MacMurray. Susie is a British artist whose work includes drawing, sculpture and architectural installations. A former classical musician, she retrained as an artist and graduated with an MA in Fine Art in 2001. Icarus was originally commission by the World Wildlife Fund.

• Figurines series (2014) by Andrea Zapp. A German-born artist and writer, Zapp gained an international reputation with her interactive media art installations yet has recently turned to fashion, applying her photography to garment and accessory design. Currently a researcher at Manchester School of Art, Andrea has lectured at Tate Modern and the ICA and has published several books on art and media. Her beautiful, handmade silk dress range, Captured around the World, features photographic abstract fabric narratives that originate from her travels, while the dresses of the limited edition Figurines range – on display in the store – are inspired by the distinct and curious objects she discovered at Manchester Art Gallery.

• Heart Tube Hat (1997) by Helen Storey. Storey is one of Britain’s most successful fashion designers who turned to
science later in her career. She has created the piece Heart Tube Hat (part of the Primitive Streak collection) with her developmental biologist sister Kate Storey and celebrated milliner, Philip Treacy. It illustrates how the heart develops from two primitive blood vessels above the developing brain, before descending into the chest cavity, at about 21 days after fertilisation.

• Last Post (2004) by Johnnie Shand Kydd. Johnnie Shand Kydd began his career as an art dealer selling 19th Century paintings. In the nineties, he began photographing his friends, the artists who went on to be known as the Young British Artists (such as Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin and Sam Taylor-Wood), and became a celebrated photographer in his own right. His poignant portraits of the last remaining WW1 veterans, taken a decade ago, highlight his career path and provide an apt moment to reflect on what remains the world’s deadliest conflict.
Selfridges Exchange Square will also be hosting an exciting programme of talks in partnership with the Whitworth. These include:


David Nicholls in conversation with Dave Haslam: Thursday 29 January, 6pm
David Nicholls, the successful author and screenwriter behind hit novel One Day, will talk to DJ and writer

Dave Haslam, about career changes, music and his inspirations. The event will also see performances by Golden Voices, a choir open to anyone over the age of 50, and the all-female She choir. Tickets are priced at £10 and will be available from customer services in store. Alternatively, please call 0161 838 0610.

Brix Smith Start in conversation with Katie Puckrik: Thursday 5 February, 6pm
Brix Smith Start is an American singer, guitarist and fashion expert who is perhaps best known in

Manchester as a member of The Fall, the post-punk band with whom she played during the 80s and 90s. She also toured with The Bangles and – for one day only – Hole. Brix changed career completely in 2002 when she opened highly successful fashion boutique Start with her husband, Philip Start. In this insightful and entertaining talk, Brix will look back over her career and her recent return to the music industry. Tickets are priced at £10 and will be available from customer services in store. Alternatively, please call 0161 838 0610.

An additional talk, with Johnnie Shand Kydd and Anne Karpf (writer, sociologist and Reader at London Metropolitan University) in conversation with David Evans (founder of Grey Fox blog) will take place at the Whitworth on Thursday 19 February.


Jane Sharrocks, General Manager of Selfridges Exchange Square, said: “‘Selfridges is a centenary-old department store so we certainly know something about reinvention and staying young at heart. It seems very fitting that we are starting 2015 by celebrating the creativity and talent of the ‘older’ generation in such a unique and innovative way. We’re particularly excited to be doing it in partnership with the Whitworth at the same time as it undergoes its own historic transformation.”

Dr. Maria Balshaw said: “It is wonderful to work with Selfridges again, and to cement the long-standing relationship between the store and the gallery. This year is going to be a momentous one for the Whitworth. What better way to mark our reopening than with a project celebrates what the Whitworth and Selfridges are best at – reinvention, renaissance and creativity?”

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