ART OPENING: This Comedian @idilsukan opens Friday 20th February at Embassy Tea Gallery, SE1


Alex and Josh by Idil Sukan

Alex and Josh by Idil Sukan

“When I close my eyes all I see is comedians, so after a decade of suffering I want to inflict this on a non-paying public. Come to think of it, most of the exhibition is just photos of my ex-lovers. So it’s basically like a Tracy Emin show, but tidier and isn’t that really what everyone wants?

But seriously, ‘This Comedian’ is about the way comedians define themselves as comedians, and the different versions of ourselves we present in different situations, even though sometimes we claim we’re just being ourselves. There’ll be pictures of celebrities, actors, stand-ups, voice-over artists, sketch comedians, directors and up and coming talent. I think it’s going to be really fun.”

Idil Sukan

This Comedian will be a retrospective of Idil Sukan’s work in production, design, photography and the comedy industry over the last 10 years; giving a unique insight into how visual marketing has evolved and emerges from the same creative world as the artistic vision.

Idil is a trailblazer in evolving the value of design and photography as a creative outlet for the comedian and the show; bridging fine art with communicative design. She has proven to be one of the most successful and prolific photographers and designers at the Edinburgh Festival over the last ten years and some of her most impactful marketing devices from the Festival, such as wall-to-wall poster coverage, will be recreated in the gallery for this exhibition.

TheMuppets_Animalondrums_photoby_IdilSukan_DrawHQ copy

The exhibition will also include some 200 portraits and photographs of live performance, including, much-loved comedians Eddie Izzard, Clive Anderson and Paul Merton, never-before-seen-images from around the comedy world and Idil’s famous photographs of The Muppets!

Idil’s iconic portrait of Celia Imrie, captured during her work as official photographer at the British Independent Film Awards will also been shown; this work has now been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery.

The breadth of Idil’s work makes it an unprecedented document of visual marketing in comedy over the last decade – making this exhibition worthy of a ‘go-to’ note in your diary!

Exhibition dates Fri 20 Feb – Mon 2 March

Embassy Tea Gallery, 195-205 Union Street, London SE1 0LN

Alongside the exhibition, there will be free workshops for new photographers and visual artists, building on the successful masterclasses Idil developed for Soho House and IdeasTap; subjects will include photographing actors and comedians, visual marketing for comedy, improvisation for photographers, and feminism in photography.

Live comedy night in the gallery space – 26th February, 7.30pm: Details will be posted on

About Lesley Samms

Lesley Samms - Art consultant, curator, writer. Lesley has a background in finance, having spent the early part of her career working in the City of London. For the past 25 years she has worked primarily in the Contemporary Fine Art Marketplace. She is passionate about the arts and is the founder and driving force behind PURE Arts Group, a creative marketing and pr agency. PURE is internationally recognised as a key player in contemporary art; discovering, mentoring and supporting emerging talent