Idil Sukan’s hotly anticipated debut exhibition, This Comedian is a retrospective of her creative work in production, design and photography in the comedy industry. It is an exceptional collection from the last decade which has seen Idil emerge as one of the UK’s most exciting emerging photographic talents and one of the most prolific creatives working in the comedy industry.
Some 200 of Idil's portraits and photographs of live performance will be exhibited including: much-loved comedians Eddie Izzard, Clive Anderson and Paul Merton (whose newly-released autobiography Only When I Laugh has as its front cover Idil’s most recent portrait of him); as well as performers who appear in comedy sitcoms and films, such as Patrick Stewart and Michael Gambon; and recent breakthrough artists such as Bridget Christie, Daniel Rigby, Sara Pascoe and James Acaster. The exhibition will also include never-before-seen-images from around the comedy world and Idil's famous photographs of The Muppets.
Idil’s iconic portrait of Celia Imrie, which will be shown in the exhibition, was captured during her work as official photographer at the British Independent Film Awards; this work has now been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery.
Idil is interested in the different identities found within an individual - how we choose to portray ourselves, how our identity is shaped by a series of curated depictions in contrast to how we unwittingly come across to others. For a comedian their identity on stage can be confessional yet must be carefully cultivated.
The young photographer honed her talent at the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival. Proven as one of the most successful and prolific photographers and designers at the Festival in the last ten years, her designs and photography are exhibited across the city on billboards, adverts and in the press, effectively making Edinburgh a gallery of her work every year. Idil is a trailblazer in evolving the value of design and photography as a creative outlet for the comedian and the show, bridging fine art with communicative design. As well as traditional curatorial displays, impactful marketing devices used at the Edinburgh Festival such as wall-to-wall poster coverage will be recreated in the gallery. This Comedian will look at how visual marketing has evolved, and emerges from the same creative world as the artistic vision.
This collection is the biggest and most ambitious of its kind. The breadth of Idil’s work makes it an unprecedented document of visual marketing in comedy over the last decade. Idil Sukan is so much more than just a photographer.