A pleasurable introduction yesterday to the legendary Jim Haynes at the Chelsea Arts Club affords publication of this shot of Barney Bubbles in the midst of operating his slide projection light show at the Drury Lane Arts Lab in autumn 1967.
Haynes’ establishment of this space for mixed media performance and experimental theatre in September that year triggered a new phase in the development of the arts in Britain.
Soon a network of arts labs sprang up (one launched by the young David Bowie – who had performed his mime show at Drury Lane – in the back of The Three Tuns pub in Beckenham, Kent).
Drury Lane is the place where the Barney Bubbles Light Show came into being. The photograph of Barney Fulcher (as he was styled then) with ink-stained hands and heavy duty projectors was taken by his Conran design department colleague Stafford Cliff.
It shows the 25-year-old graphic designer on the cusp of adopting his new persona and stepping out into a mind-expanding future, taking the light show around other such underground venues as Middle Earth and The Roundhouse.
Jim is in the UK for participation in the Edinburgh Festival; of course his relationship with the city goes back many decades. These days he’s also known for the delightful Sunday dinners he has thrown at his Paris atelier for the past 30 years.