Episode 10 – The Cloth
This episode is an audio supplement to Classic Pop magazine, issue 4, published May/June 2013. In this podcast I interview artist, Fraser Taylor, who was part of a design collective called The Cloth (1983-1987).
Fraser was one quarter of The Cloth along with David Band, Helen Manning and Brian Bolger. The art of Fraser Taylor and David Band featured on many record sleeves in the early eighties, most notably for Spandau Ballet, Altered Images, Aztec Camera and The Bluebells. Music from these artists and others is included in the episode along with archive interview content from Gary Kemp and David Band.
Drawing the line
I’ve been a fan of Keith Haring’s work since I was a design student in the 1980s. Pre-internet, it wasn’t easy keeping up with art trends, particularly those outside the UK. I came across his work in The Face magazine which was something of a style bible – the art and fashion Ying to the Yang of Smash Hits magazine’s pop and frippery.
Episode 9 – Pete Barrett
This episode is an audio supplement to Classic Pop magazine, issue 53, published on 31 May 2019. It features my 35th Pop Art feature, this time with graphic designer, Pete Barrett.
Episode 8 – Record sleeve design
This episode is an audio supplement to the ‘Synthpop’ special edition of Classic Pop magazine, published on 7 February 2019. In the magazine I have written an eight page feature about the best sleeve designs of the synthpop genre from the last 40 years.
Episode 7 – Peter Ashworth
In this episode I interview the photographer, Peter Ashworth about his seminal body of work for classic pop albums by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Soft Cell, Eurythmics, Visage, Depeche Mode and many others. This interview was edited by Peter and myself from a longer conversation and was conducted inside and outside his ‘Mavericks’ exhibition at The Gallery at 41 Stanhope Street, Liverpool L8 5RE Liverpool, 2 June – 8 July 2018.
Episode 6 – John Petch and OMD
In this episode I speak with North West artist, John Petch about his artistic collaboration with OMD for the sleeve of their album entitled ‘The Punishment of Luxury’. I met with John at dot.art gallery in Liverpool city centre, just as his exhibition was coming to a close and we talked about the works on show and more specifically the pieces commissioned by OMD’s Andy McCluskey.
The punishment of luxury
I like it when my joint worlds of art, design and music collide. It’s a collision of the nicest kind…
Last year, one of my favourite bands, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) released a new album. They’ve been at it now since the late seventies and The Punishment of Luxury is their 13th studio album. The album’s title was inspired by a painting that I’m familiar with from my many recreational and business-related visits to Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery.
Episode 5 – ‘The Innocents’ by Erasure
This is a slightly different episode of Art on your sleeve because it isn’t solely about design and it isn’t my usual interview format. For a while, I’ve been subscribed to a really informative show entitled The Permanent Record Podcast, hosted and created by Brian and Sarah Linnen. It regularly features insightful analyses of record releases from the same period that I focus on with my Pop Art interviews for Classic Pop magazine.
Artistic v Autistic
In my many years as a graphic designer, I’ve worked on materials for an incredibly diverse audience. Whilst it is the function of design to make things look good, it’s really as much about function as it is form. We’ve all come across documents that have evidently been written by a corporate committee of people, seemingly from a planet that speaks its own rarefied dialect. One that ticks boxes of corporate accountability, one that can write something that everyone approves of, and one that sounds kind of professional, but ultimately delivers an inscrutable end result.
You get what you pay for
The word ‘Design’ understandably crops up quite a lot in my social media posts and clever algorithms ensure that I see advertisements catering to my specific interests. Or that’s the theory anyway… Technology really is a wonderful thing and I am as geeky as they come – I even worked at Apple for a while so that I could get up close to all the shiny goodness that makes life easier. Not everything can be aided by technology yet though, and creative imagination is a prime example.