NEAT, NEAT, NEAT - Punk & Printmaking opens next Friday 24th May at The Art Hound Gallery.
If you're already chanting Sham 69, then you're in for a treat. But this is a show for anyone who love music - of all genres - and importantly, for anyone who has ever been had a poster of their favourite band on the wall - whether that's The Beatles, Boyzone or The Buzzcocks. Our contemporary artists who have responded to the show have created amazing attitude filled works which go from tributes to their favourite bands, love letters to cassettes, new manipulation of classic imagery and finally, political and feminist statements.
Be warned - much of the work is one off pieces or very small editions. First come first served. We already have a reserve list for some editions.
Brand new EXCLUSIVE editions are being launched by David Studwell, Chris Bourke, Simon Freeborough and Alex Bucklee. We will have several one off pieces by Terry Pastor (including something incredible for Bowie fans - would we have punk without Bowie and Iggy?) abstract responses by Iain Robertson and Clare Wardman, the launch of the first Channel 138 (all female underground urban art print making collective) collection and much much more.
There will also be rare works by Jamie Reid (Sex Pistols), Jimmy Cauty (KLF) and Shepard Fairey - but we mostly only have one of each!
We open Friday 24th May at the gallery - 10am to 5pm.
We have a LATE OPENING with drinks on Saturday 25th May 5pm - 8pm!
Show runs until 16th June.
If you've been wondering WHY this show - here's Velvet Magazine's article on the show in this month's May issue, something I wrote about it, and finally - something Shepard Fairey wrote about a work in the show.
This month sees Burwash gallery The Art Hound unveil a boundary- pushing punk show and its own print studio. Natasha Dawn, creative director, tells Velvet why punk and print go hand in (studded pleather) glove.
We’re excited to hear you’re launching your own print studio – congratulations! What made you want to make that move?
We love the art of original printmaking and experimental works on paper, so it was a natural development. It also brings us a step closer to being Cambridge’s very own answer to Andy Warhol’s infamous Factory...
The studio will produce two bodies of work, firstly limited editions in collaboration with select artists. Tell us about a couple of those artists – what made you want to collaborate?
Our first Art Hound Edition will be an experimental collaboration with urban artist Alan Rogerson, who did the installation at the front of our gallery. For years he has drawn over Renaissance art book pages from the 1930s – we loved the rebellious Joe Orton style of this – so we will be creating a triptych of hand-pulled Renaissance silkscreened images, ready for him to ‘deface’.
The second strand of work comes from Channel 138, a ‘secretive underground female collective’. We’re intrigued: what can you tell us?
Channel 138 is a group of professional female artists working together in secret to create the kind of art that, at the moment, is often male dominated – expect pop culture, slogans and swearing. We already have works by street artist Bambi, the female answer to Banksy, so we are excited to have the new wave of female urban artists working with us. We’d also love to encourage more women to expand their art collections – we don’t all love pretty pastel landscapes.
Prints from your in-house studio will be unveiled at Neat, Neat, Neat, the latest Art Hound show. You’re celebrating punk, aren’t you?
Velvet | May 2019
Yes: if you’re a punk fan, you might have guessed from the title! It will be an immersive exhibition chronicling the art, music and attitude of the punk movement, from the 70s to now, through print-making. Which may seem a little odd, but whether photocopied cut-and- paste fanzines or 7-inch single covers screen printed in basements, the visuals of punk were created by musicians and artists pushing the boundaries with print. The very first ‘real artwork’ I had, when I was 14, was Jamie Reid’s Anarchy In The UK poster with the ripped Union Jack, simply because I loved the image as much as the Sex Pistols themselves. The penny dropped that I had to make this show happen when I saw the most amazing photograph of Glenn Danzig from The Misfits hand screen printing huge posters backstage in 1982, while wearing his stage gear – nothing is cooler than that! Velvet | May 2019
We know some iconic images are going on show and sale. Can you share some spoilers, or is all under wraps?
The show will document art both directly connected to and inspired by the attitude of punk, with an exciting mix of iconic and brand new works. There will be original art from the 1970s and Jamie Reid, the Sex Pistols artist infamous for his safety-pinned Queens, will be heavily featured. But it’s not just about images of Sid Vicious and retro nostalgia: as the leather jackets have long since proclaimed, punk’s not dead. The current wave of bands, such as Slaves and The Sleaford Mods – catch them in Cambridge this month – are making the most relevant music around. So we have new works for the show by David Bowie’s original artist, Terry Pastor, former NME creative director, Simon Freeborough, and even top-level abstract artists Iain Robertson and Clare Wardman, who exhibit in the Tate, alongside pieces by our up-and-coming urban artists, such as Chris Bourke, and neon light art by the major contemporary artist Lauren Baker. This is about artists coming together as music fans: it’s for everyone who ever put a poster on their wall, punk or not.
Cambridge has links to the punk movement, so the location of Neat, Neat, Neat is fitting, isn’t it? Tell us a bit about that history.
Anyone who was a teenager in Cambridge during the 70s, 80s or 90s will remember our venues – especially the Corn Exchange – as a vital place to see bands out of London or New York. During the heyday of punk, Cambridge saw gigs by The Ramones, Buzzcocks, The Clash, X-ray Spex – the list is endless. It also has a reputation for things going a bit wrong! Johnny Thunders from the New York Dolls didn’t turn up in 1989, and in 1979 The Damned were meant to play with New Jersey’s The Misfits as support – our two favourite bands – but the evening ended with a fight backstage at the Corn Exchange after soundcheck, and the biggest cult band in America never played the UK again. We’ll be exploring that infamous night with a film installation, and possibly recalling that, even in 2002, certain Cambridge institutions kicked off about The Damned turning on the Christmas lights as blasphemy!
Remind us about The Art Hound’s heritage. What makes the business one of a kind?
The Art Hound is the kind of art gallery one would expect to see in London, but right here in Cambridgeshire. It explores the connections between contemporary, pop and abstract art, representing both the most famous names and the most exciting upcoming artists in each genre. Expect to see Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol next to a brand new urban artist we have just discovered. We started off in London in 2012, and since moving to Cambridge have become a major player on the international contemporary art scene, due to the level of artists we represent. In fact we are already planning our first New York show for 2020.
If you could take home one exhibit from Neat, Neat, Neat, which piece would it be and why?
Well, some of the original 70s work will be from my personal collection – like my beloved 1977 Damned screenprint – so hopefully I can still take that home! Aside from that, one of our most popular artists is the print maker Chris Bourke, whose hand worked lino cuts for the show are a love letter to old-school cassette tapes and his favourite bands – we share the same taste, so I’ve got my eye on his Black Flag inspired work.
Velvet Magazine - May 2019
NEAT NEAT NEAT - PUNK & PRINTMAKING
The Art Hound started on the King’s Road, London - in some regards one of the birth places of British Punk. Vivienne Westwood’s boutiques under a number of monikers had every one from Chrissey Hynde to Adam Ant working there. Westwood's World’s End shop still remains - and it’s one of the neighbours we sorely miss from our West London days.
Growing up in the 80’s, the legacy of punk was still strong - multi -coloured mohican squads were still in every town centre square, complete with complex chained, pinned and patched jackets emblazoned with intriguing skulls and symbols. Images that now adorn our walls were once considered to be part of a break down in society. At home my brother had a ‘contraband’ photo of a swearing skin head hidden in his room and my sister played Stiff Little Fingers 7 inch records and had 14 ear piercings and several tattoos done at school with a sewing needle. That particular photo is now displayed in major galleries and Harrods now has a luxury body piercing studio. Let’s not even talk about Ramones T-shirts in Primark - for the moment.
What happened? Generation X grew up and passed on a rebellious image which has become a new playground for the Instagram generation. But the essence of punk rock was never the image - but the attitude and expression.
I first got into the music around 1992 - watching repeats of the Stranglers on the Old Grey Whistle Test and seeing The Damned on The Young Ones started a life long obsession. The scene was only around 15 years old then, but already seemed generations old. Without the internet, discovering bands was achieved purely through LP and t shirt artwork in record shops and the odd late night video snippet. My very first piece of ‘real art’ on my bedroom wall was a Jamie Reid poster for Anarchy in the UK, complete with its ripped union flag and bulldog clips. Still the epitome of cool to me - despite numerous rip offs threatening to turn these icons into cliches. 90's Britpop may now seem a world away from Punk, but the influence of The Buzzcocks, Wire, Blondie, and The Clash was very clear at the time, which led me deeper into old vinyl collections. When it came I was ready for Trainspotting invoking Iggy Pop - and the Sex Pistols reunion. Punk really wasn't dead!
Last year, I came across a rare photograph of Glenn Danzig from The Misfits screenprinting a giant poster on the floor, whilst wearing his stage gear (topless, skull boots being used to hold the screen down). I'd come to New Jersey's finest like many of their fans - a decade too late through Metallica wearing their original home screenprinted t-shirts of the now iconic Misfits record sleeves. The connection that original printmaking was somehow channeling the essence of punk rock seemed clear - a technical process which yearns for commercial output, which at the same time is improvisational, rough around the edges DIY, filled with random outcomes and mark making attitude - and has the ability to greatly offend those seeking perfection.
Print making has always been part of the scene - from photo copied cut and paste fanzines, to 7 inch single covers hand screen printed in basements, the visuals of punk were created by musicians and artists pushing the boundaries with print. The underground DIY print ethos of the scene created infamous icons such as the Misfits’ Skull and The Sex Pistols safety pinned Queen - once banned and feared, these images emblazon merchandise world wide today and have come to represent the rebellion of a generation.
NEAT NEAT NEAT is a celebration of this intriguing connection, and we are delighted that it has inspired so many of our Contemporary artists to create brand new works just for the show. Punk continues in the contemporary age with popular bands such as the Sleaford Mods, Idles and Slaves, and 2019 brings the wish list of my 14 year old self to a close having now seen in my lifetime the original line ups of The Damned, The Sex Pistols and finally, The Misfits live.
But it is also a show for everyone who ever felt for a moment in time that a certain band meant EVERYTHING, living for the posters, the records and the pin badges. At the Art Hound we celebrate being a fan - and art allows us to experience that again, to reconnect with something that brings us joy and excitement. In a world that often seems to be filled with adverts for car insurance and Ed Sheeran, our artwork invokes a rebellion against the bland and everyday - however big or small you want that rebellion to be.
So lets allow that 14 year old to wear a Primark Ramones T-shirt with pride - that was all us once upon a time - just make sure they can name at least three songs first…
Natasha Dawn (Creative Director, The Art Hound Gallery)
Shepard Fairey on his work for the Misfits (work in show)
As a teenager growing up in South Carolina, the Misfits were a revelation for me. Let me set the scene… It was 1985, and I was attending a conservative private school, but my discoveries of punk rock and skateboarding were quickly eroding the illusion of conformist tranquility in my family home. The more my parents hated my music, the more I was filled with exhilaration from blasting distorted guitar and the more I wanted to draw band logos on my Converse. I was on a mission to find and embrace the most anti-school, anti-parent, and anti-establishment music that existed. Before I even heard the first note of the WALK AMONG US album, I was mesmerized by the album cover with the band dressed like a punk ghoul gang and the campy and creepy giant bat/spider and flying saucers. When the needle dropped on the record, I was knocked out by the blisteringly fast, melodic but distorted ruckus, and belligerent lyrics blaring from the speakers. All of the songs on WALK AMONG US are deviously infectious, but I was especially in love with “All Hell Breaks Loose” for its pounding beat and lyrics like “I send my murdergram to all these monster kids… it comes right back to me and it’s signed in their parents’ blood.” Aggression, style, irreverence, AND parent-baiting lyrics… the Misfits served up the incendiary cocktail I had been searching for.
I quickly picked up other Misfits albums and E.P.’s like Legacy of Brutality, Evilive, and Die, Die My Darling. One thing that stood out to me about all of those records is the artwork. I loved the Misfits art and made a few hand-stenciled shirts in high school and college. The Misfits art is pure alchemy genius and the best example of remixing marginal subculture imagery into a cohesive cult brand in history. From horror films, comics, serials, and B-movies the Misfits culled, cut, pasted, inked, and crafted possibly the most recognizable and enduring punk iconography ever. The thing I love about the classic Misfits imagery is that it is well designed, but has a do-it-yourself charm that is organic and unfussy.
With the classic Misfits iconography so well known and revered, I decided to put my ego as an artist and designer aside and focus on an approach for the band’s 40th anniversary logo that builds upon and remixes some classic Misfits images while creating some new elements. In my tribute, I wanted to channel the attitude and be true to the Misfits irreverent four decades in horror business. Like it or not… you think they really care? - SHEPARD