The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 11 November 2017

Fashion

Image: Alice Hawkins

The North remembers

The latest Somerset House exhibition shows the impact that the North of England has had on fashion – and why we shouldn’t forget it.

A new exhibition at Somerset House examines the North of England and the myriad ways in which its cities have been depicted in fashion, photography and art. Curated by Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray, North: Fashioning Identity features photos, films, sculptures and clothing from artists and designers such as Jeremy Deller and Raf Simons. Look out for the Bus Station Portraits, a series of shots of commuters at Preston Bus Station by Jamie Hawkesworth, as well as Infinity, an Alasdair McLellan film created especially for this event. With the media still obsessed with the idea of the Northern Powerhouse, this timely exhibition reminds us that the region is more diverse than that and has had a lasting impact on arts and culture. You’ll find it at Somerset House until February 4th.

Art

Image: Getty Images

Back to the wall

Miami art-lovers will be watching the walls in the lead-up to the city’s flagship show.

Art Basel Miami may still be a month away but excitement for the annual bonanza is building. The theme for the Wynwood Walls – a collection of warehouse façades that have become famed for their street art – was announced this week. Jessica Goldman Srebnick, daughter of the late property mogul Tony Goldman (the man who revitalised both New York’s Soho and the now buzzing Wynwood neighbourhood), has commissioned 12 street artists to cover the walls in murals inspired by the idea of “human kind”. The walls have been used to inspire social change since 2009, with motifs such as “fear less” and “women on the walls”. This year’s concept is to promote kinship in a time of division. The designs, by the likes of French artist Seth Globepainter and New Yorker Lady Pink, will be unveiled at the start of December as part of Art Miami.

Culture

Image: COSH studio

Singapore strikethrough

As the city-state’s unsavoury past is published, has the Lion City’s stance on censorship been written off?

Could Singapore be changing its tune on media censorship? While the city-state’s government generally blocks the publication of material covering politically charged issues, there are signs that it is willing to relax its stance. At this weekend’s Singapore Writer’s Festival there are several titles that cover unsavoury and little-known events from the Lion City’s past. A comic book called the Guidebook to Nanyang Diplomacy, for instance, recalls a mutiny against British officials in pre-independence Singapore. Unlike Sonny Liew's Eisner-winning 2015 graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, which caused a stir when its funding from the National Arts Council was revoked for its retelling of Singapore's past, this new title (and several others) from the collective Comics of Singapore Histories is funded by a government institution: the National Heritage Board.

Urbanism

Image: Getty Images

Light it up

Perth’s dearth of after-dark activity may be about to turn around as the Scottish city conceives a luminary solution.

While many cities endeavour to keep late-night revellers out, the Scottish city of Perth is pondering how to get them partying. A recent survey revealed that 60 per cent of its residents rarely set foot in the city centre after 18.00, despite its many bars and restaurants. But the council may just have a solution: its town hall is set to vote on a £14m (€15.8m) project to resuscitate Perth’s dwindling nightlife. In addition to improving street furniture and cycle paths, the plan involves creating an illuminated hub of streets and buildings throughout the city centre, more pedestrian areas and a new courtyard around St Paul’s church for pop-up markets and live performances. It’s a method that other cities – big and small – would do well to follow.

From Monocle 24

Pickled Fred

The Menu

A new London restaurant that deserves attention for the way it uses pickles and fermentation in both food and drinks.

From Monocle Films

Tracht & Country

The national dress of the alpine region is experiencing a renaissance. Monocle Films dons its lederhosen and heads to the Tracht & Country fair.

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