Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper
Haunch of Venison is delighted to present 'Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper', a unique exhibition of posters curated by the artist and designer Toby Mott.
More than any movement before or since, punk was defined by the poster. Excluded from TV and daytime radio, struggling to be heard in the mainstream press, posters provided an effective - and virtually free - means for bands to reach the public. Mott's collection, which also incorporates fanzines, flyers and other ephemera, delivers a gripping snapshot of the Britain of that time, a country rife with divisions which was slowly awakening to the reality of its reduced status in the post-war world.
As well as iconic works by Jamie Reid (for the Sex Pistols) and Linder Sterling (for the Buzzcocks), the exhibition features a wealth of material produced by anonymous artists of the era and so offers a complete survey of the punk aesthetic. It also includes political material. The rise of the National Front is charted through its incendiary propaganda, while the posters advertising 'Rock Against Racism' events show how this was opposed and how the designers adopted punks stark graphical styles to entice young supporters.
Alongside this, Mott, who has collected more than 1000 punk-related artefacts over a period of thirty years, has also included patriotic memorabilia from the Queen's Silver Jubilee, which collided with the height of the punk explosion in 1977, further
rounding the picture of Britain at the time.
Says Mott: "I began this collection as a teenager in the 1970s. I loved punk music and the attitude that went with it, but I was equally taken with the subversive way the bands promoted themselves - Jamie Reid's famous Sex Pistols poster of the Queen with a safety pin through her nose being a stand - out example.
But even then it was apparent to me that what was going on was much more than a musical movement. This exhibition seeks to capture punk's cataclysmic collision with the cultural, social and political values of the time and show the enduring legacy it left in its wake."
The exhibition will be accompanied by a 128-page publication with essays by Toby Mott, Dr Simon Ford, Dr Mathew Worley, and Susanna Greeves.
Born in London in 1964, Toby Mott lives and works in London. He has curated and catalogued a collection of British punk rock, new wave posters, flyers and political ephemera from the 1970s and 1980s. The collection was recently exhibited at MUSAC – Contemporary Art Museum of Castille and León, Spain.