Project Description

I’m delighted to tell you about this important exhibition of photographs from the seventies punk and new wave movement. “Flies in the soup” features the work of five photographers who, in their own very personal and diverse styles, created some of the most important and iconic images from the punk and new wave period in both the UK and US between 1975 and 1980.

The year 2006 is often quoted as the 30th anniversary of the birth of punk, and to mark it, we’ve brought together, for the first time, an important collection of work by Roberta Bayley, Ian Dickson, Chris Gabrin, (David) Godlis, and Bob Gruen. You can read about the photographers (in their own words) in this brochure, and view a selection of some of the photographs that will be in the show.

As you’ll see, each has their own unique take on the central theme of punk and new wave, and their visual styles are often radically different. Perhaps the two starkest contrasts are the work of Godlis – who produced dark and grainy outdoor New York street scenes, lit by streetlights, and Chris Gabrin – whose work was predominantly studio based and is typified by his witty and inventive portraiture, often against stark white backgrounds. He made some very special photographs of Ian Dury, including the classic New Boots and Panties album cover, which is breathtaking in its 36 x 36 inch limited edition version. Bob Gruen made important photographs of The Clash and Sex Pistols amongst others, and Ian Dickson’s photograph of Paul Weller is reputedly the Modfather’s favourite photograph from The Jam days. Roberta Bayley claimed some major scalps, including the cover photograph for the Heartbreakers LAMF album and the Ramones classic debut LP. In short, an eyeball fest awaits you.

The exhibition presents work in diverse sizes – from exquisite handmade 8 x 10 inch silver gelatin photographs by Godlis, up to a five foot wide in your face version of Roberta Bayley’s Heartbreakers LAMF cover. Admission is free, and everything is for sale. Prices start at under £300 for a signed handmade original photograph.

Why “Flies in the soup”? Simply that these guys were more than mere observers – they weren’t just flies on the wall. They were there, in the thick of it – in the soup.