Listed as one of the “Top Three Exhibits in London” by Time Out Magazine, the Golden Sun Movement presented “ON” at the Idea Generation Gallery in London, from April 20th – May 8, 2011. A celebration of Acid House Art, and 21st Century Psychedelia, the exhibit resonated the 80’s raving culture. Entering the flash back to early club days where house music made it’s stand, the exhibit’s works were a testament to club culture at it’s best. The “acid house art” that at the time of the rise of the rave was printed on flyers and t-shirts, now sits on the walls of one of London’s top galleries.
Three of the UK’s most influential graphic artists, members of an ever morphing collective named Golden Sun Movement, presented their works at the exhibit: Luke Insect, Leo Zero and Dave Little. They share a common thread, not only in their roots seated firmly in the psychedelic scenes of the 60s to the present day, but also in the impressive roster of musicians, clubs and brands for which they have produced artwork. Newly created pieces were seen the artists’ most recognisable commissions which previously existed as some of the most lauded club posters and album artworks. ON and Golden Sun Movement represent the contemporary equivalent of Hapshash and the original UFO spirit.
“From the legendary UFO club nights of the 60s, the house music explosion of the 80s and to the 90s Balearic scene, otherworldly sounds have always intertwined with visual art and design. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the works of Luke Insect, Leo Zero and David Little; including original flyer designs for club night Spectrum, record sleeve artwork for Paul McCartney and other commissions for the likes of Time Out and Red Bull to name but a few. Featuring eye-bending perspectives, shocking colours and a pastiche of styles including Victoriana and Pop Art the show resonates with vivacity.”
About the Artists:
Even though the days of the UFO club and the performances by Pink Floyd were well before his time Luke Insect found early inspiration in the books and records owned by his father who had grown up amongst the Cambridge beatnik scene. This taste of all things psychedelic set Luke on a path to art school in Newcastle and a career in design at The Leisure Agency in Soho. He then set up on his own company alongside fellow designer Paul Humphrey. Underground design collective INSECT were based in a small office in The Old Truman Brewery, they became the cutting edge designers du jour in the late nineties as the Shoreditch scene exploded. Their client list had a global span and boasted DJ Shadow, Paul McCartney, MTV, Orange and Nike amongst many others. The portfolio of music and youth based work caught the attention of Banksy’s Pictures On Walls collective, leading to a collaboration with Jamie Hewitt (Gorillaz) and 3D (Massive Attack). After ten years of success the duo went their separate ways, Luke set up shop in Brighton, focusing on music designing album sleeves for the likes of The Prodigy, The Human League and Arctic Monkeys/Babyshambles offshoot Mongrel. A random meeting between Luke and producer/musician Richard Norris, the fourth member of Golden Sun Movement, saw Luke join the collective beginning with designs for The Time and Space Machine thus completing the circle and bringing him back to his Psychedelic beginnings.
After escaping the confines of Art College in the 80s Dave Little spent sometime as a freelance designer at Penn Studio in Soho. Realising he needed bigger and better challenges Dave secured the position of head window designer at HMV Oxford Street creating 30ft x 30ft drawing of such icons as Queen, Billy Idol and Prince. Inspired by these large-scale designs Dave began creating album sleeve artwork of his own for one of the UK’s first dance labels; Rhythm King and their artists Bomb The Bass, S-Express and William Orbit. As dance music’s sub-genres flourished Dave began to collaborate on works for leading names such as Paul Oakenfold and Andrew Weatherall, firmly implanting his visuals on the cultural consciousness. Indeed some of Dave’s designs for club flyers promoting The World, Spectrum and Boy’s Own are on permanent record at the V&A. Dave’s commissions became bigger still as he designed ranges for motorcycle wear brand Michiko Koshino, Vodafone, Reading and V festivals as well as founding the Votanclothing brand through Amplified, and designing t-shirts for uber-cool Australian brand Perks & Mini (PAM).
Straddling both the visual and audio Leo Zero output manifests itself as design, music production and remixes. Experiencing all things Acid and Balearic in seminal clubs like Shoom, Spectrum and Boy’s Own in the nineties Leo fast became a non-stop shop for not only original music and remixes but also flyer and sleeve designs for Junior Boys Own, Heavenly Records and Time Out plus many more. Leo became one of a team who set up Faith, a fanzine described by Pete Tong as “the last bastion of Acid House”. Faith was accompanied by compilation records and DJ sets by the founders which continue today. Throwing rock, or more aptly ‘Cosmic Rock’ into the mix Leo formed and art directed a record with Mo Morris and Zeb Jameson known as “Collected Works” by A Mountain Of One, aptly becoming very much a collectors item. In more recent times Leo’s musical output has reached new heights as he remixes artists including Florence and Machine, Paul Weller, Jack Peñate, Everything Everything and Bryan Ferry amongst many others. Additionally Leo has branched into fashion as his graphic designs adorn t-shirts for Stussy and commissions for Red Bull, amongst many others.
Indira Cesarine for XXXX Magazine