“Olivia used the vast white walls of the gallery to full effect to display the over-sized black and white photos of her glamorous subject. By way of contrast she also recreated Le Carrousel, a 1950's Parisian club famous for its female impersonators, in opulent colour at the heart of the exhibition.”

Extract from an article by Jan Buchanan on Olivia du Monceau designing the April Ashley Exhibition




Portrait of a Lady

Installation &

Exhibition Designer

Curated and Produced  by Homotopia

In collaboration with National Museums Liverpool (NML)

Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund

Museum of Liverpool

On display September 2013 to December 2014

Walking through the April Ashley, Portrait of a Lady Exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool, the visitor shares the life journey of the Liverpool born transgender icon. The vivid recreation of April’s story was designed by Olivia du Monceau.

Extract from an article by Jan Buchanan on Olivia du Monceau designing the April Ashley Exhibition

April Ashley MBE, a former Vogue model and actress was one of the first people in the world to undergo pioneering gender reassignment surgery. As one of the most famous transgender individuals and a tireless campaigner for transgender equality, she is an icon and inspiration to many.

In this exhibition, for the first time, we explore April’s very public story through her previously unseen private archive and investigate the wider impact of changing social and legal conditions for all trans* and lesbian, gay and bisexual people from 1935 to today.

Alongside this, members of the trans and gender diverse communities also share their own remarkable life stories.

The exhibition is part of an ongoing project by Homotopia to record shifting social attitudes and representations of gender and sexuality. April Ashley exhibition is on for a year and is expected to attract over 250,000 visitors.


Olivia’s virtual 3D visualisations of the exhibition These original plans show how the exhibition was put together allowing us to have a visual sense of the space and how the different elements of the exhibition related to each other, before being signed off on the print and construction..

Links to film coverage on the exhibition The BBC news presenter Colin Paterson interviewing April in Le Carrousel Club designed by Olivia du Monceau | The Making of ‘April Ashley, Portrait of a lady’ Olivia talking about designing the exhibition in interview with Tim Brunsden.