Posts Tagged ‘Donald Smith’

Three London exhibitions feature Barney Bubbles designs

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Barney Bubbles sleeve variants for Do It Yourself by Ian Dury & The Blockheads, as featured in the exhibition Ideal Home at Chelsea Space, London.

Designs by Barney Bubbles feature in three exhibitions which have opened in London this week.

Above are 24 of the Crown wallpaper variations of Bubbles sleeve design for the 1979 album Do It Yourself By Ian Dury & The Blockheads, as featured in the Donald Smith-curated group show Ideal Home at Chelsea Space.

Below is sneaky iPhone shot of Bubbles’ extraordinary design for Armed Forces by Elvis Costello & The Attractions, which was released the same year as Do It Yourself and appears in the V&A’s big autumn show Postmodernism: Style & Subversion 1970-1990.

Barney Bubbles' sleeve design for Armed Forces by Elvis Costello & The Attractions, as featured in the Postmodernism exhibition at the V&A.

Barney Bubbles' Elvis Costello/Live Stiffs tour poster as featured in the exhibition Mindful Of Art at London's Old Vic Tunnels.

And above is a shot of Bubbles’ Elvis Costello poster for the 1977 Live Stiffs tour, which looms large in the subterreanean Old Vic Tunnels, venue for Stuart Semple’s exhibition Mindful Of Art, which is in aid of mental health charity Mind. The poster was sold last night at a gala auction hosted by Stephen Fry and Melvyn Bragg.

Also on display is a video installation by Kate Moross incorporating many Bubbles designs. Beamed from three TV screens this powerful light-show is cut to Hawkwind’s live 1972 track Orgone Accumulator.

Ideal Home is at Chelsea Space, Chelsea College Of Art & Design, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU until October 22. Details here.

Postmodernism: Style & Subversion 1970-1990 is at the V&A, CRomwell Road, London SW7 2RL until January 15, 2012. Details here.

Mindful Of Art  is the Old Vic Tunnels, Station Approach, London SE1 8SW until next Monday, September 26. Details here.

Process a runaway success

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Captain Sensible with Reasons To Be Cheerful

Captain Sensible with Reasons To Be Cheerful.

Saturday saw the final day of Process, with visits from well-wishers and some of the people who made it happen.

We’re proud to say that Process was Chelsea Space‘s biggest show, with attendance at an all-time high and thousands flocking from all over the country, and, indeed, the world.

Factory Records' Phil PenningtonDesigner Phil Pennington.

chaps2Twickenham alumni Jim Bunker, Arthur Robins and Mike Birkenshaw.

visitorsx6Clockwise from top left: Catherine Flood; Roger Klein; Young Kim; Olaf Parker; Jake Riviera; Stephen Goy & Jonathan Madden.

Some of Barney Bubbles’ oldest friends, fellow students and workmates came. So did family members, close acquaintances and musicians and photographers with whom he collaborated.

There were fellow practitioners, graphics experts and other admirers. Importantly, Process attracted hundreds of students, most of whom had never heard of Barney Bubbles before they entered the gallery, but left inspired and enthused at what they encountered.

emmaEmma Gorman

the editor of Eye, John WaltersWith Eye editor John Walters.

Paul, B Syme and DickieWith Belinda Syme and Dickie Lowe.

As intended; this is just the beginning. The V&A is now incorporating Bubbles in it’s next two big shows – Post-Modernism in autumn 2011 and British Design 1948 to date (which will be staged to coincide with the Olympics over the summer of 2012).

Plans are firming up for our exhibition to be held at another UK venue next autumn, and dialogue is also underway with US galleries and instititutions to take it across the Atlantic.

Paul with staff from LDS architectsTalk to architects from Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.

Paul talks with John ClivedenWith John Clifton.

Here are a selection of photographs of those who dropped by over recent weeks and helped make Process such a success. Thank you. I would like to personally thank Lorry Sartorio for her generosity – once I’ve figured out how to get the photos of you off my phone, Lorry, I shall post them here!

F-Beat and Demon Records' Andy ChildsAndy Childs (ex ZigZag, F-Beat and Demon)

Elvis Costello fan Eric GatlingElvis Costello fan Eric Gatling.

Barney Bubbles exhibition visitors: Elvis Costello afficionadosWith John Foyle (third right) and Elvis Costello aficionados.

Barney Bubbles exhibition: Martina GonanoChelsea Space assistant Martina Gonano.

Dickie with his portrait by BBDickie Lowe with Ersatz by The Imperial Pompadours.

CHELSEA space's Donald Smith with Ken 'Brains' SmithChelsea Space director Donald Smith with Ken “Brains” Smith.

Barney Bubbles exhibition visitors: Jim LatterWith artist Jim Latter.

bubbles_99Photographer David Corio shows his glove-modeling hand on the inner of This Year’s Model.

Aten and Gianna Skinner with Paul Gorman,With Aten Skinner and his mother Giana.

Photos: Donald Smith.

Process: Chelsea students’ stunning response

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Third-year graphics communications students  at Chelsea have responded to Process with a stunning set of works which formed a mini-exhibition at the college last week.

Course director Geoff Thomas-Shaw’s brief was to create three-dimensional objects in response to the show.

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Mindful of Bubbles’ educational experience working with paper and card as part of a display course at Twickenham School Of Technology in the late 50s and early 60s, Thomas-Shaw’s brief also paid attention to Bubbles’ work in the pre-digital age.

Thus, students were steered towards producing designs “analogue in terms of origination, utilising paper-based materials to reflect the non-dependency of digital influences in Barney Bubbles’ original artwork”.

Recognising some of the designer’s primary concerns, Thomas-Shaw also recommended they consider Bubbles’ use of scale, colour, texture and mode of display.

Chelsea Space director Donald Smith and I are bowled over by the quality and vision of the results.

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

“I’m incredibly impressed by the ways in which the students interpreted the brief; by their skill, wit and dexterity; and also by how well they had seemed to understand the original work,” says Donald Smith. “Their exhibition is impressive in its own right.”

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Process is on until this Saturday (October 23).
Come along and say hi.

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Photos: Donald Smith.

…and a Chelsea Arts Club private view

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Chelsea Arts Club Barney Bubbles exhibition private view

On a sunny morning a few days before the visit from the Kingston students, Chelsea Space director Donald Smith and Sandra Higgins of The Chelsea Arts Club arranged an extremely agreeable private view of Process.

Chelsea Arts Club Barney Bubbles exhibition private view

This was followed by lunch and a chat about Barney Bubbles’ legacy, with input from some of his closest friends. Also contributing was artist Jim Latter, who knew Barney Bubbles via Quintessence; Latter had been a typographer who gave it all up to throw in his lot with the band as their tour manager, working with Bubbles when he put on light shows for Quintessence at venues such as Notting Hill’s All Saints Hall.

Latter sometimes stayed at Bubbles’ creative commune 307 Portobello Road. “I remember our conversations revolved around typography and geometric abstraction,” says Latter. As exclusively revealed in the new edition of Reasons To Be Cheerful (out this month), Bubbles himself received a strong grounding in typography at rigorous commercial art studio Michael Tucker + Associates in the early 60s.

Latter moved on to run the gallery at another legendary London venue where Bubbles worked his light show, The Roundhouse, before returning to fine art. Latter’s work continues to betray his proccupation in the subject matter of those conversations more than 40 years ago.

“What’s fascinating for me about the exhibition is that it shows Barney also never lost his interest in those topics; in fact the later artwork is all about that,” says Latter. “What a wonderful testament to a wonderful guy.”

Photos: Donald Smith.
Chelsea Arts Club Barney Bubbles exhibition private view

More photos from the Process private view

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

PV-iew-from-the-Parade-Grou.

Courtesy of Chelsea Space director Donald Smith, here are some more photos underlining what fun was had at last week’s private view for Process. These and others will soon appear on the Chelsea Space site.

PV---Cynthia-Lole,-Caz-Face.

Video commissioner Cynthia Lole, Caz Facey, writer Nick Vivian and Jake Riviera view the exhibits.

PV-Donald-Smith-with-Chris-.

Donald Smith with writer Chris Salewicz and Jerry Dammers.

PV--designer-Olaf-parker-wi

Designer Olaf Parker with writer/curator Paul Gorman.

PV-Dreadzone's-Leo-Williams

Musician Leo Williams with Paprika and Leo Junior.

PV-Humphrey-Ocean-next-to-a

Painter and former Kilburn & The High Roads member Humphrey Ocean with the 1977 Psstt! ad featuring himself and Ian Dury.

PV-Jake-Riviera-talks-with-

Jake Riviera, music publisher Peter Barnes, Mick Jones and Nick Vivian.

PV-Kate-Moross's-Vj-team

Kate Moross and her VJing team.

PV-Michael-Barnett-and-Bruc

Clothier Lloyd Johnson whispers to arts event organiser Michael Barnett while musician Bruce Marcus chats to the V&A’s Catherine Flood.

PV--and-Jerry

Mick Jones and Jerry Dammers.

PV-Nick-Lowe-talks-Barney

Nick Lowe talks Barney.

PV-Nobby-Graham-with-Lloyd-

Chelsea College’s Nobby Graham and Lloyd Johnson.

PV-writer-and-filmaker-Paul

Writer/filmmaker Paul Tickell looks on as artist Bruce Maclean strikes a Blockhead pose.

PV-writer-and-musician-Dave-Ba

Musician/writer Dave Barbarossa and his wife Alison view the music press ads.

 

Process: Pictures from our exhibition

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

proces-entrance1

process-entrance2

Process: The working practices of Barney Bubbles uses the three areas of Chelsea Space to guide visitors through the methods by which this master designer realised his audacious creations.

And there’s a continuous soundtrack of the music for which he designed, from Cressida to Costello, from Hawkwind to The Damned, from Iggy Pop & James Williamson to Red Dirt.

In the entrance to Chelsea Space is selected ephemera – adverts, badges, music press ads, stickers – as well as books, magazines and other finished artwork and designs, including the rug made in the image of a panel on the cover of Brewing Up With Billy Bragg.

There is also a showreel of 10 of the videos directed by Bubbles (including two never publicly displayed before: Incendiary Device and Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby for Johnny Moped).

process-rampchuck

process-rampelvis

A face-off is conducted between Elvis Costello (in 1977’s Warholian 60″ x 40″ Live Stiffs poster) and Chuck Berry (in the form of the wall-mounted sculpture created by Bubbles for music publisher Peter Barnes) at each end of the ramp.

On the ramp wall are posters, sleeves and other exhibits denoting approaches, recurrent themes and areas such as art direction, colour usage, application of symbols, photographic treatment, geometric arrangement, etc.

In the main room there is no finished artwork, excepting a copy of Damned Damned Damned with it’s deliberate printing error, and an NME Book Of Modern Music to demonstrate from whence Bubbles was taking his design leads at the time of production.

Sketches and proposals, along with personal effects, influences, paintings and sketchbooks rest on plinths and trestles colour-schemed to a typically exuberant Bubbles palette.

process-mainspace1

process-mainspace2

process-mainspace3

process-mainspace4

process-punch

process-paste-upsphotograph

The walls are lined with pen and ink artwork, PMTs (Photo Mechanical Transfers), proofs, proposals, paste-ups, photography, etc. There’s a guide to the technical aspects of producing artwork in the pre-digital age, as well as a professional CV.

If you get the chance, do drop by; we’re around a lot of the time so can be on hand to talk you through the show and answer any questions.

Video and music track listings for the show are available here.

All photos Donald Smith.

Exhibition diary Day 6: Ever so bold

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

colours

Donald’s palette decision for the plinths and trestle table tops for the show is paying dividends.
The three colours (there is a vivid cyan as well as the pink and yellow above) are really making the exhibits pop in the Upper Space, where such a lot of the material is monochrome preparatory artwork.

Exhibition diary Day 3: care and attention

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

don_twangin...

We’re having to lavish much care and attention on some of the precious items contributed to the show.

Here,  Barney Bubbles’ artwork for Dave Edmunds’ 1981 album Twangin… is checked over by Chelsea Space director Donald Smith. The poster paint-on-card cover is held by long-gone/yellowed Sellotape to a 14″ x 28″sheet with pencil instructions for the back of the sleeve and a couple of sketched options in thumbnail boxes.

The Iitala window display is shipping out on Monday. It’s been great to work amid such beautifully crafted objects.