Arty 20 : Aug/Sep 2005

Johnny Rotten’s Sneer

“there is a need within the psyche of Englishness to look back to an idealised past…and Arcady, as the mother and father of our prelapsian innocence, is recalled with the sentimental nostalgia of infantilism: the adult reflex that yearns in crisis to re-create the remembered comfort and security of childhood”
Michael Bracewell - England is Mine (Flamingo 1998)

In the rag tag dishevelled museum of memory, fragments of remembrance are picked up, turned over and discarded: the busty blonde with the polka dot bikini on the naughty seaside postcard, the Red Indian chief on the knitted cardigan of the rocker on the waltzers, the heady excitement of poppy Bluebeat as Long Shot kicks the bucket in a 'chicken in a basket' Midlands club. Where art history disappoints – the pop soundtrack of ennui, rebellion, desire and disappointment strangely and beautifully delivers.

My Arcady is found in Johnny Rotten’s sneer/wind your waist bass lines, Elsie’s beehive, Geoffrey’s ‘Italian casuals’ and Rita’s Leatherboys – ooh matron – carry on England!

Alex Michon

Eng-er-land - Cathy Lomax, Jo Wilmot, Stella Vine, Annabel Dover, Cathie Pilkington, Damian Le Bas, Russell Herron, Delaine Le Bas
Eng Land Scape - Cathy Lomax
Stars and Their Ma’s - Kristin Perrett
The Weald of Kent - Claire Smith
England Is Not For Me - Olly Beck & Agnese Bicocchi
Home Grown Celebrities - Sarah Doyle
A Rose by Any Other Name - Hatty Oliver & Kavel Rafferty
Pentangle - Marcus Oakley
How I Learned to like England - Sex Lovemat & P. Lomax
Review - Penlee House - Cathy Lomax
Review - Spectacle - Cathy Lomax
Johnny Rotten’s Sneer - Alex Michon


ARTY 20 is now SOLD OUT