A Top Boy exhibition has opened at Somerset House

A Top Boy exhibition has opened at Somerset House



The free pop-up exhibition runs until 13 September.

The killer (quite literally) final season of East London crime drama Top Boy hit Netflix last week. To celebrate the fifth and final season of the show, a free pop-up exhibition has opened at London's Somerset House.

The gritty and acclaimed British television series has captivated audiences for over a decade. Originating on Channel 4 as Summerhouse and later resurrected by Netflix (with a little help from the rapper, Drake), the show has garnered increased admiration over its 12-year journey. Set against the backdrop of East London's housing estates, it delves deep into the world of drug trade, crime, and survival, becoming a cultural touchstone for its realistic portrayal of urban life. With the final season signifying the end of an era, the five-day exhibition honours the show's explosive final chapter.

Portrait Of A Top Boy celebrates the cultural influence that the show has had on British television and its role in nurturing emerging British talent. Curated by multi-disciplinary artist Ronan McKenzie, the exhibition showcases newly commissioned artworks by 16 established and emerging black artists based in the UK. Each of the paintings portrays a character from the series, including Sully (Kane Robinson), Dushane (Ashley Walters), Jaq (Jasmine Jobson), Stefan (Araloyin Oshunremi), Jamie (Michael Ward), Shelley (Simbiatu Ajikawo / Little Simz), Dris (Shone Romulus), and Modie (David Omoregie / Dave).

Through their unique artistic perspectives, each artist delves into their personal connection with their chosen character, the series itself, and the concept of embodying a Top Boy.

The artists include Joshua Donkor, Brianna Parker, Teoni, Jack Dickson, Tonique Sewell, Gabriel Choto, Tejumola Butler Adenuga, Kione Grandison, Aaron Bevan-Bailey, Annan Affotey, Ken Nwadiogbu, Babajide Olatunji, Olivia Twist, Toby Michael, Natasha Muluswela, and Hamed Maiye.

Portrait Of A Top Boy runs until 13 September at Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries.

GO: Visit www.somersethouse.org.uk for more information.