25 Oct 2016

Lipstick, Leigh Bowery and me… by Lucian Freud’s £35m muse

Sue Tilley exhibition in Hull celebrates the outrageous art of going out in the underground club scene of 1980s London.

You might know her as Benefits Supervisor Sleeping – the reclining nude who posed for artist Lucian Freud and whose portrait sold for world record-breaking millions.

Sue Tilley really did spend her days hard at work at Charing Cross Jobcentre. But back in the 1980s, her nights were spent working and playing harder at some of London’s most notorious clubs, from Taboo and The Wag, to Prohibition, Bar Industria and the Café de Paris.

Her best friend was the iconic performance artist Leigh Bowery, who ran Taboo, and who introduced Sue to Freud after sitting for many portraits for the artist himself.

After Leigh’s death in 1993, she wrote his biography and now creates her own work, inspired by Leigh and the clubland they both loved.

Her artwork includes “portraits of my friends Leigh and Trojan, and other people from the club scene past and present”, says Sue. “Also, things to do with club culture such as make-up, booze, fags and poppers.”

Her exhibition, Let’s Groove Tonight, arrives at the Museum of Club Culture in High Street, Hull, for three weekends in November 2016.

Sue says: “When Kerry [Baldry] and [Mark] Wigan asked me to do a show at The Museum of Club Culture, I immediately wondered what I could have as a theme. It was obvious … going out.”

A photo posted by Sue Tilley (@suetilley1) on

Are you ready for a night out with Sue Tilley?

Let’s Groove Tonight is an exhibition of paintings, drawings and photography by artist Sue Tilley, at The Museum of Club Culture, Suite 5, Bond 31, High Street, Hull, HU1 1PS.

Preview: Friday 4 November, 2016, from 6pm to 8.30pm.

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 November, 2016.

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 November, 2016.

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November, 2016.

Get in touch: if you have a story you’d like to share, please email editorial@hull2017.co.uk. More details here

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