British Home Stores; BHS, Brighton closes

A sad time for England’s’ high street – BHS’s closure takes with it many jobs, a brand identity and an archive of a British retail business dating back to 1928. When I was little, I remember being taken on shopping trips on the bus along the sea front into Worthing with my Nan, ‘Nanny Brown’ (my Dads Mum). We would go into BHS and my Nanny Brown would buy me matching vest and knickers which would have an animal on the front…. the kitten ones seem to have stuck in my head.

I have quite a few pieces of second hand BHS clothing in my own archives of raw materials. Some of these clothes I have used in past works and some I may keep as part of my own archive collection.

The work ‘S-t-r-e-t-c-h’ which I made in 1999 was woven from a size 12 British Home Stores (BHS) Polyester full petticoat, which I bought in a Brighton charity shop and had been hand dyed. Acting as a vertebra, the black lace running the full length of the petticoat became the focus of the work.

‘S-t-r-e-t-c-h’ was exhibited in group and solo exhibitions including ‘Out of the Closet’ 2000 Sothebys London and ‘Intimate Foundations’, 2000-01, first touring solo exhibition. The work was purchased back in 2001 by the former South East Art Collection, now Brighton & Hove Museums Collection.

BHS Brighton Last Day 24.08.2016BHS Brighton ClosedStretch by Lucy Brown 1999Intimate Foundations by Lucy Brown Hove Museum 2001

Photo credits; Top  BHS Brighton Last day 24th Aug 2016. middle right BHS Brighton closed middle left Lucy Browns’ ‘S-t-r-e-t-c-h’ 1999. © Uses a British Home Stores (BHS) Polyester full petticoat, size 12 (hand dyed). 130 x 125 cm. Photographers credit James Newell Bottom Lucy Browns’ Intimate Foundations. Solo Touring Exhibition. Hove Museum and Art Gallery 2001©

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The final handover of ‘the secrets we keep from ourselves…’ 2012-2015

I am really so pleased to announce that ‘the secrets we keep from ourselves…’ (tswkfo) is now all safely in the store of Nottingham City Museums Art Textile Collection. This is to be the works’ new home. It has taken me a while to stabilize and prepare the work ready for its departure and to complete a 200 plus page document of installment guidelines and image library to support future installs of the work.

‘the secrets we keep from ourselves’ joins The Brides Clothes, The Brides Clothes Underwear, The Brides Clothes Wedding Album (2000-01), Squeeze (1999), Petti-fur-coat (1999) and Odd one out (2000), all part of Nottingham City Museums Contemporary Art Textile Collection.

My thanks to the team at Nottingham Museums for all their continued support, patience and assistance getting the tswkfo to it new home.

tswkfo. Lucy Brown 2012-15Lucy Brown. the secrets we keep from ourselves.  DetailThe Brides Clothes. Lucy Brown 2000-01Petti-fur-coat_Squeeze Lucy Brown 1999

Photos from top left – the secrets we keep from ourselves. Artist studio 2015 – Lucy Brown© tswkfo. Work in progress detail – Lucy Brown© The Brides Clothes 2000-01. Angel Row Gallery Nottingham. Opening event 2001 Angel Row Gallery © Petti-fur-coat and Squeeze 1999. Pages from Only Human Exhibition Catalogue. Crafts Council 1999-2000. Craft Council Gallery©