The Past The Present & The Possible was the title of the section in graphics music exhibition White Noise devoted to Barney Bubbles and curated by Reasons To Be Cheerful author Paul Gorman with artist/curator Sophie Demay and Etienne Hervy, director of the International Graphics & Poster Festival held every year in Chaumont, France.
Posts Tagged ‘Kate Moross’
A popular element of the Barney Bubbles exhibition within the recent graphics/music group show White Noise: Quand Le Graphisme Fait Du Bruit was the cubicle housing designer Kate Moross’s Barney Bubbles video triptych.
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.
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.
This year’s Glastonbury Festival will celebrate the work of Barney Bubbles, who created the extraordinary sleeve for the Glastonbury Fayre triple album set Revelations – A Musical Anthology.
Since 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the Fayre, Bubbles’ biographer Paul Gorman is staging two events at the Festival’s Spirit Of 71 Cafe to mark the late graphic designer’s involvement with the album, the festival and many of the performers who have played there.
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.
Video commissioner Cynthia Lole, Caz Facey, writer Nick Vivian and Jake Riviera view the exhibits.
Donald Smith with writer Chris Salewicz and Jerry Dammers.
Designer Olaf Parker with writer/curator Paul Gorman.
Musician Leo Williams with Paprika and Leo Junior.
Painter and former Kilburn & The High Roads member Humphrey Ocean with the 1977 Psstt! ad featuring himself and Ian Dury.
Jake Riviera, music publisher Peter Barnes, Mick Jones and Nick Vivian.
Kate Moross and her VJing team.
Clothier Lloyd Johnson whispers to arts event organiser Michael Barnett while musician Bruce Marcus chats to the V&A’s Catherine Flood.
Mick Jones and Jerry Dammers.
Nick Lowe talks Barney.
Chelsea College’s Nobby Graham and Lloyd Johnson.
Writer/filmmaker Paul Tickell looks on as artist Bruce Maclean strikes a Blockhead pose.
Musician/writer Dave Barbarossa and his wife Alison view the music press ads.
Last night’s full-moon private view for Process was quite a wing-ding; the great and the good were out in force, with Kate Moross and her crew VJing to a psychedelic/punk/prog/folk/whassat? soundtrack of music for which Barney Bubbles designed.
Jerry Dammers, Jeff Dexter, Nick Lowe, Mick Jones, Jake Riviera and Jah Wobble are just a few of the legends who dropped by to have a sticky-beak.
What would Barney have thought? “He’d have run a mile, but would have loved it,” said Nick Lowe.
Virginia Clive-Smith, who worked with Barney Bubbles in Conran’s design department when he was Colin Fulcher, wholeheartedly agreed, and Paul Conroy, whose association with the designer started with the Kursaal Flyers’ Chocs Away has just written: “Barney would be embarrassed…but secretly very proud.”
Yesterday’s Design 4 Music symposium was a roaring success, with all tickets selling out and a stellar cast of contributors providing insights into many different aspects of this vast subject.
The closing panel on Barney Bubbles’ legacy proved entertaining and at times revelatory even from my perspective; I lined up with three leading designers: Barney’s one-time colleague Malcolm Garrett and Barney fans Kate Moross and Gerard Saint.
Gerard showed off the copy of Music For Pleasure he has owned since he was a 12-year-old punk in Devon (and spotted that Barney extended the design detail to the label). This chimed with Kate since Music For Pleasure was the key which unlocked her appreciation of Barney’s ouevre.
And Malcolm displayed some choice designs including Glastonbury Fayre, In Search Of Space and Your Generation, as well as an intriguing art questionnaire filled in by Barney in 1981; he – along with other artists including Peter Blake – had been mailed it by a student friend of Malcolm’s. It’s been promised for the next edition of Reasons To Be Cheerful, which is fab.
Meanwhile an encounter with Andrew Heeps – whose framing company Art Vinyl staged a mini-exhibition – provided yet another example of how Barney connections are every which way.
Andrew only recently discovered that his grandfather founded construction company Heeps Willard. Wreckless Eric (exclusive interview here) mentioned just the other week that it was an HW sign in Barney’s Islington neighbourhood in the early 80s which provided him with his final – and possibly most charming – nom-de-design, appearing as a credit on releases by Billy Bragg and Blanket Of Secrecy.
“I was knocked out when my dad told me about his father’s company,” said Andrew. “He gave Barney the name and here I am immersed in vinyl and one of Heeps Willard’s biggest fans!”
And the day wrapped nicely when the name of our competition winner, illustration student Sarah Jane Griffey (who claims she never wins anything), was plucked for one of the prizes in the draw: a Kate-donated copy of Into The Galaxy by Midnight Juggernauts.
If proof were needed that Barney Bubbles continues to inspire contemporary designers more than a quarter of a century after his death, look no further than London’s own Kate Moross, the 23-year-old making waves around the world with a remarkable body of work which first started to attract attention while she was still at Camberwell College of Arts.
Moross shares Barney’s deft use of colour, concerns for isometry, geometry and architectural form and his appetite for music (operating vinyl-only label Isomorph). She is similarly fascinated by symbols – not least the repeated representation of her trademark three triangles – and applies a serious work ethic across a range of media and disciplines.
Moross determinedly creates at the cross-hatches of fine art and graphic design but, in a similar fashion to Barney, refuses to be pinned down stylistically.
Her flyers, posters, stickers, record sleeves, t-shirts, art direction, lighting design, stage sets and videos for the likes of La Roux, Simian Mobile Disco, heartsrevolution and Telepathe exemplify a dedication to detail and a ready wit.
Music video, directed by Jo Apps and Kate Moross. Audacity Of Huge, Simian Mobile Disco, 2009.
Moross – who has designed for record labels including Allido and Merok Records, created campaigns for such companies as Cadbury’s and a clothing range for Top Shop – was introduced to Barney’s work via his 1977 sleeve for The Damned’s album Music For Pleasure.
“It was old and new and confusing,” Moross told us while on the road this summer: last month she took part in Semi Permanent, the international design event in New Zealand, lining up with fellow Brits Harry Pearce (of Pentagram), Sanky (AllofUs) and Tim Beard (Bibliotheque), as well as such design legends as David Carson.
“I love confusing,” declares Moross. “I love codes and symbols, so Music For Pleasure has everything; graphic and illustrative, pattern and block colours, everything mixed together perfectly.”
Moross says that the coherence within Barney’s disparate methods and styles lies in his ability to “fit the brief, and that’s what every artist or designer’s goal should be. Not everything needs to be the same, but it should always be brilliant, and Barney was brilliant”.
Moross’s rise coincided with the reawakening of interest in illustration, packaging and graphics in music circles in the Noughties.
“I think that the Sixties and Seventies did wonders, but then the Eighties and Nineties kind of stopped caring; it was the artists that sold the music, not the art,” she believes.
“But it came back round. Packaging and design were back, labels and bands started employing illustrators and designers to make something special again.”
“I love the way the fractured isometric shapes are broken apart in a bold three-colour composition and then beautifully reconstructed on the reverse,” she said.
“To be honest, I didn’t know Barney’s work until recently,” Moross added. “But when I found it, I wished I could have been around at a time of such awesome creativity within musical ephemera. I feel like, with my enthusiasm, I would have fitted in well.”
That may be true. But their loss in the Seventies and Eighties is definitely our gain today.