In My Shoes

Art & the Self since the 1990s

An Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition

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 Maclean 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.


Please note: not all works will be shown at all venues.




Represented artists include:

Helen ChadwickTracey EminSarah LucasRachel MacleanHayley NewmanGrayson PerryMarc QuinnGavin TurkMark WallingerGillian WearingJananne Al-AniMichael LandyStewart 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.


The Arts Council Collection : In My Shoes


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
16 February - 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

Featured Works

Explore this Exhibition

Artist Profile: Emma Hart

Emma Hart’s multidisciplinary practice includes sculpture, video, photography and performance. Her recent ceramic pieces possess an unruly aesthetic and are often autobiographical.
Gallery Guide

Download our printable guide featuring information on the exhibition and the Arts Council Collection artists and artworks on show.
Students Jump Into the Shoes of ACC

Dr Rowan Bailey from the University of Huddersfield reports on an exciting new collaborative project developed alongside Arts Council Collection's latest Touring Exhibition, In My Shoes.
Education Pack

An educational resource to accompany In My Shoes, an Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition exploring the ways in which artists based in the UK have represented themselves in their work since the 1990s.

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

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