Hosted at Spectrum in Brighton and part of Brighton Fringe, Behind the Beat is a group exhibition exploring the movements and scenes over the last 50 years that have been defined by the fashion, music and stories associated with them. Through Teds, Punks, Mods, Skins, Rudeboys, B Boys and Girls, Rave to Grime with plenty in between, the exhibition incorporates photographs from some of the UK’s most celebrated documentarians, including Dean Chalkley and Harris Elliott, Derek Ridgers, Elaine Constantine, Ken Russell, Stuart Griffiths, Ali Tollervey, Gavin Watson, Olivia Rose and Paul Hallam. Behind the Beat is curated by Miniclick and Ali Tollervey.
In addition to the 9 artists, the exhibition will also incorporate images, memorabilia and unique audio recordings of stories on the scenes, all submitted by the public.
Behind the Beat will be open every weekend through May, from 10am to 6pm. On Saturday May 13th, we’re having a day of talks and discussion around subculture, featuring Derek Ridgers, Dean Chalkley, Harris Elliott, Gavin Watson, Paul Hallam, Olivia Rose, Hayley Louisa Brown, Ali Tollervey and Stuart Griffiths. The talks will run all afternoon, from 1pm to 5pm, and you’re free to drop in an out (entry is free and no booking is required).
Every weekend in May, 10am to 6pm. Spectrum, 42 Frederick Place, Brighton.
Launch afternoon of talks on Sat 13th May, 1pm to 5pm.
Derek Ridgers – 78 / 87 London Youth
Derek Ridgers (b. London, 1950) is one of London’s most influential club and street photographers, starting in the seventies with his documentation of the rise of the Blitz Kids, the New Romantics, Hell and Taboo in London. Ridgers originally trained as a graphic designer and worked in advertising for over a decade before taking up photography after testing a client’s camera product. Following a change in career Ridgers began working for the iconic British magazine The Face and the music weekly NME (New Music Express).
Ridgers documented the British style and music scene as the Punk rock era began to develop in the late 1970s. A founder of the straight-up style of photography, his observational approach to photographing London’s Youth enabled him to capture skinheads, punks, ravers, goth’s and fetishists as well as every hybrid style that has developed from these various subcultures.
Ridgers work has been exhibited internationally since the seventies; Recently he has published several monographs including The Dark Carnival and PUNK LONDON 1977.
Elaine Constantine – Northern Soul
Elaine Constantine is a photographer and film director. She became renowned in the 1990s for her colourful portrayals of British youth culture. In 2015 her debut feature Northern Soul was nominated for BAFTA’s Outstanding Debut Award. Constantine’s work has been exhibited at the V&A, Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery.
Ken Russell – Teddy Girls
Before finding fame as a director of films such as Women in Love, Tommy and The Devils, Russell worked as a freelance photographer, and began taking photographs in 1951, aged 23. The Teddy Girl images, all taken in 1955, are among of the first photographs to capture fledgling youth culture in London.
The teddy girls are photographed on London streets, at funfairs, at stage doors, leaning on graffiti-covered brick walls, on derelict East End bombsites and outside the Seven Feathers Club.
Ken Russell has been described by film critic Mark Kermode as ‘someone who thought with his eyes’; Russell himself called his photographs his ‘still films’. As Russell said: ‘No one paid much attention to the teddy girls before I did them, though there was plenty on teddy boys. They were tough, these kids, they’d been born in the war years… they knew their worth. They just wore what they wore’.
Stuart Griffiths – Black Rock Raves
Stuart Griffiths (b. Manchester, 1972) began taking photographs in violent council estates in Belfast whilst serving in the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment during the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. After his second tour of duty in 1992, Griffiths left the Airborne Brotherhood and moved to Brighton and became the ‘un-official’ photographer of the Church of the Sub-Genius photographing the burgeoning illegal rave scene of 1994.
Since graduating from the University of Brighton with a second-class honors degree in Editorial photography, Griffiths has free-lanced for many titles travelling far and wide. He was imprisoned in the Congo, resided in the mountains of Portugal, lived in a homeless hostel for veterans, worked as a paparazzi photographer on the streets of Soho and hung out with security workers in Baghdad. Many of these ‘dispatches’ have appeared in Vice. In 2009 the documentary film Isolation (about Griffiths journey from soldier to civilian) was premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
Griffiths won the Brighton Photo Fringe OPEN in 2010 with his first solo show CLOSER at the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton that later toured the UK. The following year Griffiths won a bursary from the National Media Museum to make his first monograph The Myth of the Airborne Warrior (Photoworks, 2011). In 2013 Griffiths second book Pigs’ Disco (Ditto) was published. Presently, Griffiths has optioned the film rights to Pigs’ Disco and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Ulster, in Belfast.
Dean Chalkley & Harris Elliott – Return of the Rudeboy
Return of the Rudeboy celebrates the phenomena of the 21st century Rudeboy.
On show, the exhibition will host a edited selection of the projects’ photographic study of over 60 sharply dressed individuals, all of whom are ‘Rudies’. These contemporary portraits were shot by Dean Chalkley and creatively directed by Harris Elliott. The result being a carefully curated body of work rather than a street style presentation. It is worth noting that none of the subjects were ‘styled’ instead all presented themselves as they authentically are and all were photographed in London England even though several live overseas.
Olivia Rose – This Is Grime
Olivia Rose is an award-winning photographer who has shot editorial for i-D, Clash, Brick, A La Champ, Boys by Girls and other high-end fashion and lifestyle publications. For her book This is Grime, created in collaboration with the writer Hattie Collins, Olivia has photographed the many characters that make up the Grime scene; from its early innovators to its current torchbearers. This Is Grime was shortlisted for the Penderyn Music Book Prize 2017. In addition, Olivia recently curated an exhibition for the RBMA UK Tour, titled ‘An Eye On Grime’, bringing together documenters of the scene, past and present, inviting viewers to take a look through the history of the young genre. Most recently, Olivia shot Skepta for the cover of the Guardian Guide and Giggs for the cover of Brick magazine. The exhibition will feature a small selection of the vast This Is Grime body of work.
Paul Hallam – Odds and Sods
Odds & Sods forms a treasure trove of photographs taken by a teenage Paul Hallam in the early 1980’s during the mod revivalist scene in the UK with his Olympus Trip camera.
Ali Tollervey – Fresh ’97
Shot whilst at college on borrowed equipment, Ali will be presenting a selection of images from the now legendary Fresh Hip Hop event of 1997. Featuring first ever UK performances by Jurassic 5 & The Invisibl Skratch Piklz (Q Bert/Mixmaster Mike/ Shortkut) alongside Grandmaster Caz (Cold Crush Brothers) , Blade, DJ First Rate (Scratch Perverts) & many other artists & B.Boys from around the world.
Gavin Watson – Skins & Punks
Gavin Watson was born in London in 1965 and grew up on a council estate in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. He bought a Hanimex camera from Woolworths in his early teens and began to take photographs. Upon leaving school at the age of sixteen, Watson moved back to London and became a darkroom assistant at Camera Press. He continued to photograph his younger brother Neville and their group of skinhead friends in High Wycombe.
The ‘Wycombe Skins’ were part of the working-class skinhead subculture brought together by a love of ska music and fashion. Although skinhead style had become associated with the right-wing extremism of political groups like the National Front in the 1970s, Watson’s photographs document a time and place where the subculture was racially mixed and inclusive. His photographs were published in the books Skins (1994) and Skins and Punks (2008), and the director Shane Meadows cited them as an inspiration for his film This is England (2006). In 2011 and 2012 Watson photographed campaigns for Dr Martens and began a project with the singer Plan B.
Hayley Louisa Brown
Hayley Louisa Brown is a photographer based in London, and the editor-in-chief of Brick, an independent music & lifestyle publication representing the new age of hip-hop culture. Hayley will be joining the lineup for the day of talks on Saturday 13th May.
Every weekend in May, 10am to 5pm. Spectrum, 42 Frederick Place, Brighton.
Launch afternoon / night on Sat 13th May. More details TBA