‘What I wanted to deal with were the stories of my hometown,’ says Birmingham-born designer Osman Yousefzada of his first solo exhibition at the city’s Ikon Gallery. ‘Being Somewhere Else’, marks the first time the gallery have given the space to a non-contemporary artist, and features a series of solo commissions exploring Yousefzada’s own Muslim upbringing in Balsall Heath, and the inequality within the fashion industry through eyes of immigrants.
‘It’s about my tradition and cultural displacement’ the designer explains of a series of installations which evoke his early home life. Like the interior of a bedroom wrapped in cellophane, a sign of his mother’s immigrant neurosis, or a walk in cupboard ‘filled with necessities which are really objects of domestic violence and pain’.
In celebration of the exhibition’s opening, Yousefzada has also curated a festival which runs from this Thursday to Sunday 17 June, a four day celebration of migration, fashion, arts and music, including Friday’s ‘Diaspora Disco’. ‘It’s based on the daytime discos of the Nineties,’ he says. ‘When I started coming of age but wasn’t allowed to go out in the evenings!’ ‘Being Somewhere Else’ is on view at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham until 29 June.