A journey through London’s subculture since the 1980s

For its upcoming project at Old Selfridges Hotel, the ICA is attempting to show a single thread of creativity that can be traced back through London’s subculture over the past 20 years.

LuckyPDF portrait

Source: Photographer: Stefan Giorgiou Meme. Generator: Huw Lemmey

LuckyPDF portrait

Rather self-indulgently, the ICA appears to be suggesting that this thread is the gallery itself, with many of those in the show having previously exhibited at the gallery.

There are some great names involved though, from a wide range of disciplines. From the architecture of Zaha Hadid to artworks from Matthew Darbyshire and Sarah Lucas and illustration and design from Julie Verhoeven and Design Week Rising Star Bethan Laura Wood.

Kinky Gerlinky Flyer

Source: Courtesy of Michael Costiff

Kinky Gerlinky Flyer

Each artist involved in the show has been given one of 50 custom-made vitrines, which they will fill with material such as flyers, books, photographs and drawings to represent a particular creative scene or moment in time.

There will also be installations from Darbyshire, Haroon Mirza, SIBLING and Lucky PDF and films from the likes of BodyMap and Jonny Woo.

Londonatella, by Mark Leckey
Londonatella, by Mark Leckey

A Journey Through London’s Subculture: 1980s to now is at Old Selfridges Hotel, 1 Orchard Street, London W1H from 13 September-20 October.

Latest articles


Sarah Hyndman: “Punk was the anti-Helvetica”

Typographer and graphic designer Sarah Hyndman, author of Why Fonts Matter, will be giving a talk this month about the power of typefaces in the punk era, part of the current Graphics of Punk exhibition on at the Museum of Brands.

We speak to Sarah about how punk democratised design, and why Snapchat is the modern-day equivalent.