When deciding about the title of this post, it was either ‘Her life’ or ‘Beauty is in simplicity’ because that is exactly how the exhibition ‘Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait’ feels. One short, uncomplicated and impactful display capturing everything, from Amy’s school uniform, to her Jimmy Choo’s concert heels, all under the patronage of the Jewish faith.
The choice of the location, in the Jewish Museum in Camden, is excellent. Amy was Jewish and spent most of her adulthood in the local area. There is a sing postage in the museum’s foyer with Amy’s Warhol-style-like portraits, created by Pegasus, and a gift shop full of objects celebrating the Winehouse-cult. However, the exhibition itself is located on the top floor of the museum, following two floors dedicated entirely to the Jewish culture.
‘Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait’ pictures Amy not only as a singer but also as an active student, rebellious teenager and a loving family member. It shows how normal, yet extraordinary and ambitious, Amy was. Put simply, all she ever wanted was to be famous. Her wishes came true to such an extent that the joy of sharing her festival wristbands with her loyal brother could not compensate for the pressure constantly imposed on her by the public. Amy’s beautiful mind is pictured through the numerous letters and school projects that the artist took part in and which also made her stronger whilst shooting to stardom.
The venue is filled with soul, jazz and blues music that was the main inspiration behind the singer’s own creation. Occasionally, the voice of her brother can be heard in the background, uncovering Amy’s personality will all vices. Records from the live concerts are on display next to her commemorate wall covered in post-it notes of all shades of pink. That is also the only hint of the tragic event ending the artist’s life.
There are no negative emotions captured throughout the installation. It celebrates the important milestones of Amy’s career and has a surprisingly positive impact on the visitor. After all, the tears will always dry on their own…
The exhibition is opened till 24 September 2017. Find out more on @JewishMuseumLDN.