If you're old enough to remember the iconic album covers of Pink Floyd - the prism on Dark Side of the Moon, the burning man on Wish You Were Here, the recursive portraits of the band on Ummagumma - you might like to pop down to the.gallery@oxo at the base of the Oxo Tower on London's South Bank. If you're not old enough, you might like to go anyway to see how it was done before Photoshop.
Storm Thorgerson, co-creator of the Psygnosis studio, and described as "the creative mind behind some of the most famous album covers throughout popular music's history," is holding an exhibition and sale of limited edition prints, not only of the artwork of Floyd's covers, but also that of many other bands.
What is most interesting to me is not just that it was all done without the software - and the hardware - but the sheer creativeness of Thorgerson and his team. Hospital beds complete with nurse and patient in the shallows of the sea shore; people hanging upside-down from ropes on trees, confronted by pierrot-like figures in the same condition; and one that for me recalled the 60s series The Prisoner, of a man running along a beach pursued by a huge ball of knitting wool. One can imagine his proud cry, "I am not a jumper, I'm a free man!"
On the way in, you might spot a notice next to the door saying, "Special discount for those refurbishing their second homes." I wouldn't take it too seriously. One of the wall sockets below the prints is labelled: "Plug socket, 2009, Mixed media, Edition 4, Storm Studios, £5,950."
One problem with the.gallery@oxo is that viewing of some of the prints can be marred by reflections from the glass wall opposite. Bad positioning of the lights used also to be a problem, but they seem to have fixed that one some time ago. Don't let all this put you off, though; this exhibition is well worth attending. And the price is just right- as with all exhibitions at the.gallery, this one is free.
If you go, head there from Waterloo Station along the South Bank and you'll get a second exhibition for nothing. Along the riverside walkway towards Gabriel's Wharf is Wild Poland, an outdoor exhibition of wildlife photography by Artur Tabor. As the walkway is open day and night, so is the exhibition. Visit www.wildpoland.org if you want to know more.
Exhibitions at the.gallery@oxo open 11am-6:30pm, free
To 31 May: Taken By Storm, limited edition prints by album artist Storm Thorgerson
3-7 June: Shifting Perspectives, five photographers examine alternative representations of adults and children with Down's syndrome
11-28 June: Art in the wild, photography capturing endangered species by Roger Hooper
Riverside Walkway, Gabriel's Wharf, open day and night, free
To 7 June: Wild Poland, an outdoor exhibition of wildlife photography by Artur Tabor, www.wildpoland.org
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