Michael English & Nigel Waymouth (a.k.a. Hapshash And The Coloured Coat): Middle Earth concert poste
Lot 321
Michael English & Nigel Waymouth (a.k.a. Hapshash And The Coloured Coat): Middle Earth concert poster original artwork, 1968,
Sold for £9,600 (US$ 16,135) inc. premium
Lot Details
Rock & Roll Memorabilia
Michael English & Nigel Waymouth (a.k.a. Hapshash And The Coloured Coat): Middle Earth concert poster original artwork,
1968,
ink on board, comprising main art and additional piece of central detail, each framed, for concerts at the London club in March-April by Tim Buckley, Roy Harper, Family, Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Arlo Guthrie, Soft Machine, Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll and Fairport Convention, both items signed by Michael English, together with a letter from him with background details, and a small framed print of the final poster (4),
main image artwork 50 x 75cm (19¾ x 29½in)

Footnotes

  • Michael English's detailed explanatory letter explains that this was the last, and technically the most sophisticated, poster created under the Hapshash name. Printed by offset lithography rather than the usual silkscreen process, the image takes its theme from J.R. Tolkien's books, from which the Middle Earth derived its name. In typical post-Freudian Hapshash style the content was heavily sexualized but the less explicit version of the two lovers was printed and used for promoting the club's concerts. Above the lovers, entwined in foliage very much in Alphonse Mucha style, are two windows into two worlds, one of darkness, one of light. Locked in eternal balance, they are a symbol of the symmetry of space-time, as are the lovers - a reflection of each other, independent, yet inter-dependent. English recalls that, at the time, he felt it was somehow dishonest to hide the boy's genitals in the printed version as it somehow diluted the force of their love and consequently weakened the message.

    The allegorical nature of this poster was typical of the Hapshash genre. The depth and subtlety of hidden meaning behind the primary message, together with the use of brilliant colour, were the hallmarks of the designs of English and Waymouth.

    Original pieces of artwork for any British psychedelic poster of this period are extremely rare indeed.

    Exhibited: 'Summer Of Love: Art Of The Psychedelic Era', Tate Liverpool, May-September 2005.
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