Artist’s de­signs be­came weapon of choice for ac­tivists

Sunday Mail (UK) - - Front Page -

are still rife, as is the so­cial hous­ing.”

The gran­dad of fo­four moved to Lon­don in 1967 af­ter grad­u­at­in­grad­u­at­ing from Bath Academy of Art and set up a min­mini poster work­shop in his flat in Not­ting Hill wwith some of his friends.

His law grad­u­ate pal, Peter Dukes, found them new premises in a base­ment be­neath a hair­dressers in CCam­den and it was here that the Poster WWork­shop was born, manned by a host oof vol­un­teers.

Buoyed up by a great deal of po­lit­i­cal en­thu­si­asm, it flour­is­flour­ished al­most im­me­di­ately, with folk some­times queu­ing round the block.

Sam, who taught art and de­sign at Ayr’s Kyle Academy, said:sai “There was never a short­age of work anand news of what we were do­ing spread by word­wor of mouth. I knew a lot of ex-art stu­dents so they did some de­signs.

“Folk just­paid­just­paid whatwh they could and oth­ers pro­vided us with ththe pa­per or old posters which we would printpr on the back of. The work­shop was manned­mann round the clock.”

Sam, whose bookbo Poster Work­shop 1968-1971 is out now,n added: “We could re­spond very rapid­lyrapid to a re­quest for posters. “The most ex­trex­treme case was prob­a­bly for a strike at FoFord, Da­gen­ham. The vote to strike was tataken at a meet­ing at 10pm and the shop stew­ards rang the lo­cal pub, where wwe were wait­ing. They need for more jobs and needed posters in time for the 6am shift. We worked through the night de­sign­ing, print­ing and fi­nally dry­ing the posters with a hairdryer be­fore driv­ing to Da­gen­ham be­fore dawn, in time to hand them to the shop stew­ards.”

The work­shop ran un­til 1971, when litho­graph print­ing took over. In those three years, they pro­duced more than 50,000 posters of 200 de­signs. Many of their most fa­mous posters were dis­played ear­lier this year at Tate Bri­tain as part of Lon­don: 1968.

Sam, who moved to Scot­land in 1975, said: “There were so many de­signs but there are some that still stick in my head.

“The Viet­nam War was in full swingg so we did a lot of anti-war posters. But the stand­out for me was the ‘ We Are All For­eign Scum’, which was a re­ac­tionn to Tory MP Tom Ire­mon­ger’s dec­la­ra­tionon that, ‘Bri­tish peo­ple are fed up with be­ingng tram­pled un­der­foot by for­eign scum.’’

“One of my other favourites wasas ‘Wel­come To Sunny South Africa’, whichh was plas­tered all over the South Africaa Air­lines build­ing in Lon­don.

“An­other in­spired de­sign wass ‘ Vote for Guy Fawkes, the only man ever to en­ter Parl ia­ment with hon­est in­ten­tions’.”

He added: “From civi l r ights marches in troubled Belfast to pleas to free Obi Eg­buna, the leader of the Bri­tish Black Pan­ther move­ment, we pro­vided posters for every cause.”

Fawkes, far left, and ‘We are all for­eign scum’, third from left MAK­ING A DIF­FER­ENCE Sam’s work­shop op­er­ated from 1968 to 1971 and pro­duced more than 50,000 posters of 200 de­signs

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.