The content for the exhibition has been co-curated by Elizabeth Selby at the Jewish Museum and Amy’s brother Alex Winehouse and aims ‘to celebrate [Amy Winehouse’s] Jewish roots and early life in a positive manner’, says studioDiem.
The show has been organised to tie in with what would have been Amy Winehouse’s 30th birthday.
studioDiem was brought in to work on the project in May this year, having been invited to pitch. As part of the pitch it brought in Mash Chudasama at Mash Design to work on exhibition graphics.
The graphic style is directly inspired by Amy’s writing as a teenager when she submitted an essay to join the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London in 1997.
Arnaud Dechelle, studioDiem founder, says, ‘I believe the Amy exhibition has an interesting and unusually personal premise that we are translating directly into our design and graphic approach using personal testimonies, specially written captions by her brother Alex and previously unseen family pictures.
‘[Amy Winehouse] had a really wicked sense of humour which was already encapsulated in that one letter, so key quotes [used on graphics] emulate her handwriting. It’s about inviting people in and discovering a bit more about her ties to her family and heritage.’
studioDiem says the main inspiration for the exhibition design concept is drawn from a vintage suitcase in which Amy kept family pictures.
Dechelle says, ‘Early on the family showed the curator a very interesting suitcase with lots of pictures in there. In a way it’s a snapshot of her life in that suitcase – the sections were organised around it loosely chronologically.
‘The big concept is having the suitcase right at the centre.’
Items on show include family photographs, such as this image of a young Amy on a balcony, which was taken at her grandparents’ flat in Southgate in North London.
Original pictures and reproductions are suspended from the ceiling and fixed in frames along the walls ‘as if they flew out of the suitcase’, says studioDiem.
Objects, grouped into themes such as Family, Music or Fashion, are to be displayed in open cases.
Amy Winehouse A Family Portrait will run from the 3 July to 15 September 2013 at the Jewish Museum, 129-131 Albert St, London NW1