As Jamaica celebrates 50 years of independence this summer, a new exhibition curated by UK blog Shimmy Shimmy and author, designer and DJ Al Fingers looks to celebrate the role of art and design in Jamaican dancehall culture…
Stalag cover by Limonious
“While many musical genres have been celebrated for their intimate relation with art, dancehall and Jamaican sound system culture has, for the most part, been left out of the canon, despite its rich and vibrant artistic heritage, not to mention its undeniable influence on design and letterform in pop culture today,” says co-curator Al Fingers of the show which is currently running as part of the BASS (British Arts and Street Sounds) Festival in Birmingham’s The Drum gallery until July 13.
Toyan record sleeve art by Jamaal Pete
UK artist and designer Tony McDermot’s preparatory work for Josey Wales and Yellowman album
Art in the Dancehall, supported by Puma Yard and Jamaica50, gathers together artwork by 1980s Jamaican artists Limonious and Jamaal Pete, alongside UK artist Tony McDermott and dozens of hand lettered posters by one of Jamaica’s most prolific poster designer, Sassafras:
It also features work by five young artists from four different countries – Jamaica, Israel, Germany and the UK – who are keeping dancehall art culture alive:
Israeli artist Ellen G‘s portraits of dancehall deities
Zine cover (front and back) by UK-based artist Peter Edwards
Munich-based Gabe‘s Ward 21 poster
Jamaican artist Robin Clare is now based in Sydney and her Dancing Words prints are based on popular dances
Daniel David Freeman recreated part of the suit worn by Buju Banton on the cover of his Stamina Daddy LP
Art in the Dancehall is currently running as part of the BASS Festival in Birmingham’s The Drum gallery until July 13. It will then travel to London where it will show at Puma Yard‘s Boiler House venue on Brick Lane from July 27 through to August 12. Full details at artinthedancehall.co.uk.
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