David Bowie at The V & A

London’s Victoria & Albert Museum are hosting an extra ordinary exhibition relating to the life and work of pop music icon David Bowie. Having been given unparalleled access to the full Bowie archive they have pulled together images, artefacts and sounds and visual media that span the singers long career, charting not only his musical success but also his rise as a cultural icon and innovator in the world of musical media. There are in excess of three hundred individual items on display including original costumes, hand written lyrics and set designs from some of his iconic music videos, as well as some incredible artwork and images. Personally owned instruments of Bowie’s will be on display as well as some of his own original artwork for some of his most memorable album covers.

Photo by Sarah Stierch
Photo by Sarah Stierch

The exhibition will also cover some of the collaborations with other performers that Bowie has been involved in, including not only musical collaborations but also those in the fields of art, film, graphics and fashion. Here you will be able to see the wardrobe that became synonymous with Ziggy Stardust as several of his bespoke bodysuits are on display as well as film excerpts from live performances. Aside from all of the things we associate with performance and the stage there is also an incredible selection of personal items on display like handwritten set lists and lyrics, video storyboards and some of his own pencil sketches and personal diary entries.

Exhibition Events

  • Friday 19th April is ‘David Bowie Changed My Life’, an evening talk featuring the likes of Gary Kemp, David Baddiel and Robert Elms talking about how they were influenced by Bowie.
  • From Friday 26th April – Sunday 28th April is the Bowie Weekender. This is a free entry event with aims to celebrate all things Bowie. The event will include films, music, workshops and activities for all ages, so that the whole family can be involved.
  • During spring half term there is a family event planned (Saturday 25th May – Sunday 2nd June). Called the ‘Imagination Station’ you and the kids can get together and design your first album cover.

There are also a number of lunchtime and evening lectures based upon the fashion and style of Bowie as well as the iconography of his on stage persona, as well as workshops based around recreating the sound and feel of Bowie and better understanding his creative processes.

Creative Inspiration

David Bowie represents different things to different people, but his imagination and creativity in his work are unquestionable. It is hoped that through this exhibition our future generations will feel inspired to be creative in their own ways and carry this legacy of innovation expressionism to new levels. Of course right at the heart of this incredible exhibition, past the imagery and the fashion statements is the music. And it is the music that carries you through this wonderful retrospective exhibition of the career of one of the country’s most iconic, respected and best loved musicians and performers.

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