Cardiff School of Art & Design
For the opening of the first Punk Forever Exhibition of 2012, we are holding a private viewing at 6-8pm Thursday 12th January.
A SLICE of punk life will be unveiled in Cardiff tonight with the staging of Punk Forever – a retrospective exhibition looking at the movement that marked a seismic shift in popular music.
The emergence of punk in the mid-1970s was an epochal moment in contemporary popular culture, moving the goal posts to overturn much of the then overblown and pretentious music of the day.
This exhibition has its source in a carefully compiled archive of graphics, prints, photographs and memorabilia collected by Gerrion Jones since the early days of punk in 1976 when he was a teenager.
The material covers all its aspects and colours looking at how punk changed the world and evolved from its beginnings to the present day.
“The whole story is told via rare and original work created by artists such as Jamie Reid, James Cauty and Billy Childish, as well as posters of many bands like The Clash, The Damned, The Sex Pistols, above, and more,” explains Gerrion, originally from Merthyr.
He initially had the idea for Punk Forever as a three-day exhibition to be held at Merthyr Tydfil College. It included many pieces of subversive and destructive art as well as film footage about the evolution of punk.
The exhibition was extended from the original three days to six weeks – during that time it attracted more than 1,500 visitors.
Now those who missed it in Merthyr have a chance to view it when it opens at the Howard Gardens Gallery at the Cardiff School of Art and Design.
More than 200 pieces of punk art and memorabilia are on display as the exhibition makes its latest stop in a tour that has already drawn thousands of spectators – of all ages. “It’s very much a family thing,” Gerrion points out.
“Parents are bringing their children along to show them what it was like to be a punk, but the children are seeing art they can relate to and speaks to them too, because we are living in times very politically similar to the late ’70s,” adds the 48-year-old.
“I think punk is more relevant than ever when you take a look at the state of the country at the moment.”
Working non-stop for the last couple of years to transform the idea of Punk Forever into a brand, Gerrion is in talks to take the exhibit as far afield as America, China and Japan.
“Sometimes I can’t believe what has happened and how it’s grown,” he says.
“It’s amazing to be able to show works from the likes of Jamie Reid and Billy Childish, because I had to ask for their permission to show it and it’s only when they saw what I was doing that they gave their blessing.
“They can see I’m getting stuck in, doing everything I can. “You can’t sit in front of a computer and just be a conductor. “I’ve had to be a designer, a narrator and a curator. “So many people have helped to make this happen and I can’t thank them enough.”
Punk Forever runs at the Howard Gardens Gallery from tonight until February 2. The gallery is open Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm. Entrance is free.