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Gary Lindsay-Moore: It's Not Unusual

Three photographs by Gary Lindsay-Moore inspired by the fashion of Kahn & Bell
Three photographs by Gary Lindsay-Moore inspired by the fashion of Kahn & Bell | © Gary Lindsay-Moore Photography

Discover the history of fashion on Hurst Street in Birmingham through free exhibitions at the Back to Backs

What is the exhibition?

This exhibition titled 'Gary Lindsay-Moore: It's Not Unusual' features a series of photographs by local artist Gary Lindsay-Moore. The images are inspired by the Kahn & Bell shop which was located at 72 Hurst Street from 1976 through to the mid-1980s. The shop was owned by Jane Kahn and Patti Bell who were innovators in the punk and new romantic scene in Birmingham. They have been described as Birmingham’s equivalent to Vivienne Westwood and dressed famous bands such as Duran Duran and Bucks Fizz.

Gary was just 17 when he visited the Kahn & Bell shop and describes this visit as a ‘watershed moment’ in his life. Against the backdrop of a bleak social scene in the late 70s, the punk movement was vibrant, loud and a statement that young people had something to say. Kahn & Bell were at the centre of this scene in Birmingham. The shop was a place for people to gather and hang out, and inspired people who came in with their innovative and often outrageous designs. They were influential in the new romantic movement, which blurred the lines between what had previously been considered male and female clothing. Many men also started to style themselves with makeup. This exhibition is a homage to Patti and the truly iconic designs of Kahn & Bell.

Gary’s photographs feature original Kahn & Bell garments, and he has chosen models that reflect what he feels is the ‘spirit of Kahn & Bell’. Also included are models that have a direct connection to the shop such as local drag legend Twiggy who worked in the shop as a teenager. Alongside Gary’s photographs, we’ll be showing some of the original clothes and photographs from the time.

This exhibition sheds light on the incredible work of Patti Bell and Jane Kahn and the fascinating history of Southside, the local area, through the lens of Gary’s work.

How do I visit the exhibition at the Birmingham Back to Backs?

Visiting the exhibition space at the Birmingham Back to Backs is free of charge and does not need to be booked. Enter through the Back to Backs' second-hand bookshop at 61 Hurst Street. If you'd also like to visit the houses you'll need to book online here.

When is the exhibition open?

‘It’s Not Unusual’ will be open for a special preview weekend during Birmingham Pride on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May 2023.

The exhibition will be open officially on 9 June 2023. The exhibition spaces are open from 13.00- 17.00 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 10.00-17.00 from Thursday to Sunday.

The historic courtyard of one of the Birmingham Back to Backs, displayed as it would have been in the 1930s with washing on the line, dolly tub, washboard, bicycle and pushchair.

Book your visit

Please note you need to book tickets to Birmingham Back to Backs. You can book for the following day up until 4pm. Every Thursday another week of time slots is added, so you can book up to four weeks in advance.

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