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been to an exhibition in London and thought flippin’ heck how on earth was all this lot put together? This Week’s LDNER, Tory Turk, is a fashion and popular culture exhibition curator. Her latest work is on show at Somerset House – The Jam’s About The Young Idea’ exhibition which runs until 27th September 2015. We thought we’d grab some words before it comes to an end next month…

Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?

I live in Angel. I’m utterly borough-iotic and am devoted to Islington. It’s packed with small, well-established and respected businesses – gems include, Raab’s Bakers on Essex Road and The Charles Lamb pub on Quick Street. From the canal boats to the grand Georgian houses, it’s a well-rounded, charming and genuine place with a lot of soul!

How did studying at Media and Cultural Studies at university make you get into curating?

I studied my BA at Sussex University and then went on to do an MA in Fashion Curation at the University of The Arts. I wouldn’t say my BA hasn’t served me well, it laid down the foundation to my current profession, but, it wasn’t until I had experienced the world, post uni, that I realised what I really wanted to do, and more importantly what I would be good at.

Tory Turk

Tell us more about what happens in the process of curating a fashion and popular culture exhibition?

Putting together an exhibition usually starts with a subject matter or an archive (or a mix of the two). I then build a story around the theme and related objects, making sure that it can reach and satisfy the exhibition’s intended audience’s expectations. I spend a lot of time researching and also hunting down the really special objects. Once the object selection is complete I need to ensure they will translate well in a physical space. I work closely with exhibition teams to make sure the visitor has a really great experience.

‘The Jam: About The Young Idea’ is currently on at Somerset House, what made you pick a band that has such a place in social history as well as a musical one?

I was very lucky The Jam exhibition was offered to me. Nicky – Paul Weller’s sister – had brought the exhibition idea to Somerset House’s attention. She had already started to collate objects and archives. I was asked to co-curate it with her in order to bring all the objects together and create a narrative that would work well in Somerset House’s East Wing Galleries.


Finally, What is your perfect day in London?

My boyfriend lives in Victoria therefore my perfect day in London (a Sunday) kicks off at Pimlico Fresh where we share a ‘Green Juice’ and a croissant. Then we walk to the short walk to Pimlico car boot. If I haven’t bought too much, or lost Noah through retail boredom, we walk along The Southbank. We might have a cider on The Tate Modern rooftop café or drop into the Haywood Gallery if there is an exhibition I haven’t seen on. I may be able to escape back to Islington for an afternoon yoga lesson before going into Soho for sushi at Eat Tokyo, on Old Compton Street.