Walthamstow School of Art cultivated some of the most influential creative talent of the 1950s and 60s. Leading names in art, fashion, music and film studied and taught here - including Pop Artists Peter Blake and Derek Boshier, musician Ian Dury, filmmakers Ken Russell and Peter Greenaway and fashion designers Celia Birtwell, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin. The exhibition will explore this radical era at the School; showing the early work of these seminal artists and designers and revealing how they were encouraged to explore their creative imagination- taking art and culture in radical new directions.
This incredible era at the School has never been explored or researched in depth, despite the fact that all the leading players cite their time in Walthamstow as key to their later development. For the first time, the early work of these influential artists and designers will be brought together in one exhibition, to show how it was in the art schools of post-war Britain, rather than the universities, that the benefits of a free, universal secondary education were most evident.
The exhibition will capture the energy, excitement and dynamism of these young artists, teachers and designers as they first started out in their careers. The exhibition will reveal personal testimony and original work created by the pupils and teachers during their time at the School, as well as personal photographs and archival material, film, music and ephemera from the period.
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Header image: Peter Blake, Self Portrait with Badges ©Peter Blake. All rights reserved, DACS 2017. Photo: ©Tate, London 2017