UK Premiere – Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken
Life-sized Sculptures, soundscapes, photography and over 7,000 unique pieces have been brought together for the UK Premiere of a new exhibition in Coventry – Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken.
Presented by Coventry City of Culture Trust and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum the exhibition, Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken marks Daniel Lismore’s 20th year as a living sculpture.
Raised in Coventry, Lismore is an artist, designer, perfumer, stylist, and human rights warrior. A truly spectacular and immersive experience, this UK premiere celebrates the intersection of art, architecture, world cultures, beauty, and fashion.
Aiming to inspire visitors to be their true selves, Lismore’s life-sized figurative sculptures are crafted like tapestries and combine works of art, haute couture, and items from his personal collection of nearly 7,000 unique pieces.
Visitors can expect 50 3D sculptures modelled on the artist, each featuring a cast of his face, jewellery, vintage fabrics and found objects. Some of the sculptures on show combine precious stones and rooster feathers, others will wear embroidered tweed jackets, leg braces and hand-grenade earrings.
Not only have Lismore’s designs been worn by celebrity clientele and appeared in the English National Opera, but they have also travelled around the world, from Iceland and Italy to the USA and Poland. For this homecoming exhibition, the work has been enhanced and expanded, with previously unseen works on display.
The exhibition includes the brand-new piece, ‘GODIVA’ which is decorated with a crown, broken tiaras, chainmail and Swarovski crystals. Inspired by the legend of Lady Godiva, the piece was made for Coventry Moves and created in collaboration with Vortex Creates.
Fittingly, the exhibition opens during Coventry City of Culture’s month of ‘Hope’ as Lismore invites us to think about personal identity and individuality, while advocating for political and social action.
From sustainable fashion to campaigning for climate change and LGBTQIA+ rights, Lismore brings together his activism and artistic practice to create work that incites, disrupts and inspires. He describes getting dressed as ‘suiting up to go out and face the world, to change the world’.
Francis Nielsen, Cultural & Creative Director of The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, said: “We are so excited for visitors to finally be able to see this breath-taking exhibition. Each of Lismore’s sculptures is unique, but together they form a united cohort, standing in solidarity, celebrating diversity and activism.
“Our hope is that people will feel inspired and advocate the right to be their true authentic selves.”
Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken is co-curated by Daniel Lismore with Nicola Richardson and Marianne Taviner of Vortex Creates, and co-produced with Gary Everett, in partnership with Coventry City of Culture Trust and Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. Supported by Avanti West Coast.