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Amy, Before Frank

This Amy Winehouse exhibition focuses on the singer's early career, featuring images by the photographer who shot the cover art for her first album.
By Sarah Ward
September 28, 2023
By Sarah Ward
September 28, 2023

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, The Mighty Boosh, Frida Kahlo: they're just some of the faces that've graced exhibitions around Australia in 2023. The next to join them is Amy Winehouse, in a showcase that's doing what documentary Amy also dedicated some of its frames to: stepping back a couple of decades to the beginning of the 'Back to Black' and 'Rehab' singer's career.

When Winehouse was 19, photographer Charles Moriarty was requested by a friend to take some snaps of the then-unknown talent. They're the images that Amy, Before Frank will display. More than 30 will feature — and if you're wondering where the exhibition's name comes from, it references Winehouse's debut album Frank, with the photos covered hailing from before that record dropped.

When Winehouse was in front of his lens, Irish photographer Moriarty didn't know what'd follow for the performer — the fame and success, nor her passing in 2011. The session clearly worked out well because Moriarty also shot the cover art for Frank, and became friends with the singer.

To check out Amy, Before Frank, fans will need to head to Sydney's M2 Gallery from Wednesday, October 18–Sunday, October 22. That timing couldn't be more perfect, given that Frank — which includes the singles 'Stronger Than Me', 'Take the Box' and 'In My Bed' — released two decades ago in October.

Moriarty is also coming to Australia with the exhibition, chatting in Sydney on Saturday, October 21.

The original photograph used for Amy Winehouse's debut album 'Frank', shot on Princelet St, London, 2003

Images: Charles Moriarty.

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