by Niamh White .

Jon Savage's photographs arrive for our upcoming Punk exhibition

The SHOWstudio SHOWcabinet will be transformed this September when we open an exhibition dedicated to exploring the images and objects that defined the punk aesthetic. Curated by Nick Knight, the show includes artworks by Robert Mapplethorpe, Tom of Finland, Jim French and Jamie Reid, photography from Ray Stevenson, Judy Linn, Jonh Ingham, Bob Gruen and Dennis Morris, and personal effects from key punk players, including Vivenne Westwood, Malcolm McLaren, The Clash and more.

The punk aesthetic was coined by relatively few individuals who found inspiration in the detritus of the streets and the deprived working class. The spirit of DIY that infiltrated all aspects of the punk ethos instilled a sense of opportunism in its participants, it encouraged a frank individualism which momentarily allowed a power shift from the privileged few to the impoverished many. While the life time of punk was fleeting, the tenacity with which it attacked the establishment has left an indelible mark on subsequent creative output. It is this that we intend to explore in the show.

A key series of photography arrived today from journalist and photographer Jon Savage. Titled Uninhabited London, the series presents a picture of West Kensington in the late 70's. Savage recognised the impact that the desolate London landscape had on his contemporaries at this time, and documented his surroundings from Westbourne Park Road to Shepherd's Bush spur. He has linked the environment with punk explicitly, saying 'The hyper-speed velocity of the Clash’s early live shows were, in part, an indication of the energy that came from seeing London’s dereliction as an opportunity: the forgotten city as playground.'

The series sets the scene for our upcoming show which opens Wednesday 4 September. We'll reveal further artworks to be included soon.

1 comment

  1. jon.emmony
    18:24 16 Aug 2013
    I would highly recommend anyone coming to see these beautiful prints.

    They mark such an interesting moment in social history, as well as being visually stunning.

    Really excited for the Punk show to open.