The Fitzrovia Chapel are delighted to announce an exhibition to celebrate the life and work of renowned performance artist Leigh Bowery.
The chapel is the only remaining building of the Middlesex Hospital, where Leigh died from AIDS on New Year’s Eve 1994.
Leigh is a legendary figure who spans the worlds of art, fashion, dance, club and music. Essentially he himself was the living breathing work of art, his now iconic designs and costumes were ubiquitous and meant for Leigh, as he pushed his body through ever more extreme creations, designed to shock and thrill onlookers from dance floor to gallery.
He was also known as one of Lucian Freud’s most famous models, sitting for the renowned painter for several years and becoming close friends, his large naked bald form becoming almost as recognisable as when wearing his own outlandish and ornately decorated costumes and creations.Leigh died of AIDS on New Year’s Eve 1994, shortly after his last performance at the Freedom Cafe, Soho in November, where people saw for the last time his legendary ‘Birth’ performance where he gave birth to his assistant and close friend Nicola Bateman live on stage, with Freud, Alexander Mcqueen and his other close friend Sue Tilley all on the front row.
The Fitzrovia Chapel have worked with the Leigh Bowery Estate and in particular Nicola, whom he married shortly before his death, to create a stunning but poignant exhibition of Leigh’s costumes, presenting several of his iconic ‘looks’ against the backdrop of the gold mosaic ceiling and marble walls of the chapel. There will also be a specially produced short film with interviews with some of Leigh’s close friends and collaborators including Nicola, Sue Tilley, Boy George, Les Child, Richard Torry, David Holah and Lee Benjamin. Dr Rob Miller, who looked after Leigh when he was the Middlesex, and who is now a trustee of the chapel, will also be interviewed.
Artist Charles Atlas will also have his film ‘The Legend of Leigh Bowery’ played as part of the exhibition.
A one way system is employed in the exhibition with a maximum capacity, masks must be worn, and booking required. Tickets are free. You can order your ticket from Eventbrite. The exhibition runs from 7 January to 6 February 2022, daily from 11am to 5pm except Sundays (12 noon to 5pm). The show is closed each Monday.