Where do we start? The week ending Friday 1st June saw one of the best experiences of our creative lives as we put together a show we never dreamed we'd get a chance to see, let alone host. Flint & Food might have been the culmination of weeks of planning, promoting, designing and organising, but it was actually the culmination of around a decade and a half of friendship, conversation and admiration.
One of our favourite artists and a bit of a role model for Factoryroad, DJ Food's 'The Search Engine', as you will know from previous blogs, was released in January to great acclaim and with an appropriate cosmic 'bang' at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, followed by a show of artwork generated by the release at Pure Evil in London. We've always known we wanted to do something creative with Strictly Kev (hitherto referred to as 'Kev'), but we never knew what shape or form it would take. Hosting a show of not only this work but a retrospective of some of this massive archive of work to date was an opportunity too good to miss, and on Friday the show opened to the strains of aeronautical bleeps and hisses, the smells of 'out of this world' food (thanks Kev for that) and the sounds of people chattering, pointing, admiring and reminiscing.
Our aim was to bring to a non-London crowd the beautifully realised collaborative artwork created for the album release, the result of 2000AD artist Henry Flint's feverish black-and-white drawings combining with Kev's considered, rich colour work, concepts and design. Alongside that, we wanted to demonstrate how long Kev has been significant in the field of design for music, a key member of the early Ninja Tune team as both artist and musician, and inspiration to us as buyers and admirers of his work and as creatives ourselves. His albums, purchased over a record-buying period spanning three decades, are rich with memories and a sense of time and place and feel like family members in themselves.
Henry Flint's work. We decided to make the whole of the brick wall Henry's, with pencil drawings hidden in other parts of the gallery for people to discover. The rich red rawness of the 135-year old bricks seemed the perfect backdrop for his writhing ink.
Visor and Helmet polishing cloths, printed in gold and choc brown. Available in the shop of course!
And foil-wrapped chocolate Spacefood bars. Of course.
Ninja Tune fan and the space nerd, the artist and the musician along with friends, family and the merely curious. All had a chance to chat to Kev and enjoy close-up gazing of things they'd perhaps only glanced on a poster, sleeve or online.
The pictures should speak for themselves, so it only remains to thank the people who made the event: Kev, for agreeing to let us borrow his artwork and for hurling himself so robustly into the setting up of the show and the punishing hours it entails; Henry for being so very present despite not being here; Brook valentine-Menown for being right-hand-woman and making herself indispensible in the realm of PR, promo and scalpel prowess (even though she was believed to be a pseudonym till the last minute); Jed, for traveling to the moon and back for space crisps and sci-fi peanuts; Jo C for the shuttle, Anne C for the hand-stitched tea towels; Nigel Axon for the photographs; Matt C. and Andy for enthusiastic last-minute gallery lighting installations, Bob Neely for making the bathroom ambient; and anyone else whose services were performed under the usual Factoryroad conditions of tight scheduling and anally-retentive detail.
Read Kev's review of the night too, for a report of the experience from the artist's perspective! http://www.djfood.org/djfood/flint-food-at-factory-road-2
All the merch - books, prints, helmet-polishers, Spacefood and records - can all be found in the shop. with the special edition 'Skullstronaut' print for sale from 15th.