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Untitled (Red Queen from Brocklehurst Through the Looking-Glass) Jo Brocklehurst2000s

Jo (Josephine) Brocklehurst (1935 - 2006) studied at Central Saint Martins and began her career as a fashion illustrator. She later focused on portraiture, drawing directly from models at her studio in West Hampstead and in nightclubs and theatres in Berlin, London and New York. Her work documents the alternative subcultures of the 1970s, 80s and 90s that went on to shape mainstream fashion and performance scenes.

This work is from Brocklehurst Through the Looking-Glass, Brocklehurst’s final series. With an image of herself as a child as the centrepiece, Brocklehurst made hundreds of drawings that re-imagined characters from Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels. Her models were friends and dedicated club-goers who designed and made their own clothes. Brocklehurst’s regular collaborator Isabelle Bricknall was the model for this work.

Works from the series were framed with bright plastic gemstones and hung on every available space at Brocklehurst’s home studio. She used metallic and neon inks that transformed under ultraviolet lights that she switched on for her guests in the evenings.