Fitting, then, that a small, highly personal exhibition, Amy Winehouse: Family Portrait, should settle in the heart of Camden as it returns to the Jewish Museum following an international tour.
Outdoors, you'll find a trail featuring Camden's leading street artists, so you can wander in Amy's footsteps.
Winehouse occupies a mythic position in popular culture. Rising to fame in the early 00s, the artist’s blend of soul and jazz and skyrocketing voice felt brazenly contemporary yet steeped in tradition. But her luminous talents were often eclipsed by darkness. Winehouse's life and career were fraught with difficulty and, after a long struggle with addiction, she died, aged 27, from alcohol poisoning. We think of hair, heroin, ink and bone, instead of that voice, that laugh, those lungs.
Family Portrait dismantles the hype and fable that surrounds Winehouse. Co-curated by Amy’s brother and sister-in-law, the show is made up of hundreds of personal items, including clothing, books, records and a hoard of previously unseen photographs. We have the (heart-stoppingly tiny) Luella dress that Amy wore at Glastonbury 2008, Christian Louboutins, monogrammed and personalised clothing sent to her by the bevy of designers who wanted to cash in on her stardom. All the trappings.
But these extravagances pale in comparison to the other items on display. Amy's school uniform, comically at odds with the 1950s and 60s get-up she came, saw and conquered. A trunk stuffed with old family photos. Moth-eaten Rockabilly vintage, tatty old ballet pumps. All of this stuff is used, well-loved. This show isn't a museum or a mausoleum, but an incredibly touching portrait, built from the relics of a life lived-in.
She always dreamed she'd make it big, but she was 'a Jewish girl from North London and things like that don't happen to Jewish girls from North London called Amy Winehouse'. A Family Portrait proves that, despite everything, for better or worse, she was never anyone else but that girl.
|What||Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait, Jewish Museum|
Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert Street , London , NW1 7NB | MAP
|Nearest tube||Camden Town (underground)|
16 Mar 17 – 24 Sep 17, Saturday to Thursday: 10am - 5pm, Friday: 10am - 2pm
|Price||£3.50 - £7.50|
|Website||Click here for more information|