Tate, in collaboration with Universal Music Group, has opened up their doors wide for a new wave of young musicians. Through June, they will run an in-house series of three intimate live performances inspired by artworks in their collection. With Celeste, Bree Runway, Steam Down and a team of UK’s upcoming costumes and set designers on board, Tate Collective proves they’re aware of the creative scene’s turmoils outside of the museum’s sturdy walls. It’s about time to push boundaries between music and visual arts even further.
A few days ago Bree Runway, a break-through ‘destructive pop’ bad-ass and the BBC Music’s Sound of 2021 nominee, supported by the likes of Missy Elliot and Rico Nasty, stormed onto Tate’s stage to perform her infectious hit ‘Hot Hot’. Sharing the feminist musings and go-to attitude, it was only right that Bree got inspired by radical photomontage punk icon and an artist behind Buzzcock’s ‘Orgasm Addict’ legendary cover, Linder. Despite decades’ long time gap between Bree and Linder, their work complements each other. They both source from the same creative well overflowing with ideas for the deconstruction of female image and empowerment. “The work ‘Untitled’ by Linder puts an interesting, humorous spin on stereotypes, which feels so current,” Bree says.
Bree Runway makes her statement in an exaggerated 50s style attire, thanks to her super talented crew of creatives: stylist Holly Wood, hairdressers Seraiah Artistry, makeup artist Bernicia Boateng and set designer Ranya El-Refaey of Vision Artists. They’ve brought Linder’s erosive ethos back to 2021. Stepping into pink-shaded fantasy, in sassy stockings and neon hairdo, Bree sings lyrics like “Ask me how I do it and they wonder/You can never ever do it like a Brenda”, taking charge of her eclectic image.
“The cameras surrounding me on a podium reference a thousand things – how women are constantly observed, the obsession with fame and paparazzi and how does one navigate through all that. I don’t need to be sexy for you, I can be anything – half-sexy, half-hoover, whatever!” she comments. Bree reimagines 70s DIY punk spirit, channelling the confidence and sneaky playfulness of Linder’s art into one power-ridden performance. That’s really hot.
While in awe of Bree, we recommend catching up on the first video of the series, Celeste’s ethereal act inspired by Dalí’s ‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus’. 2019 winner of the Brit Award for Rising Star and songwriter extraordinaire, played ‘Not Your Muse’, dressed in Sarah McCormack’s hand-made sculptural dress and set in Jabez Bartlett’s surreal land, modelled after the painting, with a giant daffodil flower in the centre. “I also chose this painting because of a fascination that I had recently developed around the flower in the painting ‘Poet’s Narcissus’, a type of Daffodil that some of the classic literary giants such as Sylvia Plath have written about in their work,” Celeste comments. For Tate exclusively, she put on an emotional performance that explores artist-muse relationship through her personal experiences and the work of Salvador Dalí that pays a special homage to his beloved wife, Gala.
Keep your eyes peeled on 30 June for the final Tate takeover by South London’s artists collective, Steam Down. They will let their innovative jazz beats run free while performing ‘Empower’, framed by ‘African Spirits’ photographer, Samuel Fosso.
Watch Bree Runaway’s performance and a behind the scenes interview online here.