Annouced in 2021 as the winner of both the International Woolmark Prize and the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, the leading and award-winning fashion designer Matty Bovan will take over the Bothy Gallery at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, to create an immersive, participatory, art installation that raises timely questions about identity and who controls it.
Boomerang questions the construction of identity, authorship and ideas of personal ‘brand’ in the age of social media, where over 95 million images are posted on Instagram every day. The image-led social network, which is owned by Facebook, states in its terms that the user grants ‘non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use their content’. Bovan is drawing attention to the fact that most of us are already willing participants in the distribution of our images to the unseen masses.
Visitors will be invited to choose from a range of sculptural fashion designs created by Bovan, and be photographed wearing them. Visitors will not be allowed to take their own photo, as the project will be documented with a collection of images that will only be used in a printed publication and never shared online. At a time where the average concentration of an artwork or image is three seconds, participants will be encouraged to engage with his wearable artworks for a minimum of 10 minutes, in an attempt to construct a new self-image that will be captured in a unique way, blurring sculpture, fashion and photography.
Matty Bovan is a York-born designer who graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2015 with an MA specialising in Fashion Knitwear. His 12-look graduate collection earned him the L’Oréal Professionel Creative Award, closely followed by the LVMH Graduate Prize 2015, going on to work with Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu.
Bovan has established an internationally-respected fashion practice and had a catwalk show at London Fashion Week 2020. Based in Yorkshire, Bovan has acknowledged YSP as being a formative influence and undertook a research residency in the National Arts Education Archive in 2019.