In My Shoes

30 March 2018 - 22 September 2019

Art and the Self since the 1990s

An Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition for 2018

Self portraiture maintains an enduring presence throughout art history; in recent years artists have revolutionised and extended the genre by incorporating action, performance, narrative and explorations of identity.

In My Shoes explores the ways in which artists based in the UK have represented themselves in their work since the 1990s. Encompassing a range of media including film, photography and sculpture, In My Shoes draws primarily from the Arts Council Collection, with key loans from other UK collections, to investigate these dynamic approaches.

This exhibition offers a timely opportunity to consider the legacy of a key aspect of 1990s British art. The show begins with key early works by so-called ‘Young British Artists’ including Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Gavin Turk, who received international attention for putting themselves in the frame with bold and confrontational works. The exhibition continues with the work of a younger generation of artists including Rachel McLean and Bedwyr Williams who have each established an active role within their work. In My Shoes concludes with some of the most recent works to enter the Arts Council Collection, some on public display for the first time since acquisition.

The rise of the ‘selfie’ in contemporary society and the construction of digital identities through social media offers a timely wider context for the exhibition.


Represented artists include:

Helen Chadwick, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Rachel Maclean, Hayley Newman, Grayson Perry, Marc QuinnGavin Turk, Mark Wallinger, Gillian WearingJananne Al-Ani, Michael Landy, Stewart Home and Bedwyr Williams.


Learning & Engagement Opportunities
This exhibition offers a broad scope for learning and engagement at a range of levels, complementing the curriculum across a range of subjects including Art & Design, English, PSHE and Citizenship. In My Shoes will be accompanied by an illustrated guide, a comprehensive range of educational activities and interpretation for gallery use, and a downloadable education pack.

Find out more about the Arts Council Collection's Learning activity


Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
30 March – 17 June 2018

Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Leicester
7 July - 2 September 2018

PACCAR Room, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon
6 October 2018 - 6 January 2019

Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth University
19 January - 12 May 2019

The Harley Gallery, Welbeck
6 July - 22 September 2019


Full details of our public events programme for In My Shoes.


For further information please email


Venue: See tour dates & venues above



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With nearly 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyondThis website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.