She was so guarded about her background that many of her

Exploring the beauty of London’s punks and fetish clubs

cheap canada goose uk Disguised in a wig and sunglasses, the artist Jo Brocklehurst went undercover to draw some of the larger than life figures of London nightlife at fetish clubs and punk gigs. But her extraordinary body of work including portraits of everyone from Boy George to Billy Idol has remained largely unknown. cheap canada goose uk

cheap Canada Goose An exhibition of her work created from the 1960s up to canada goose factory outlet her death in 2006, called Nobodies and Somebodies, may change that. The show reveals an unparalleled window into canada goose outlet canada the subversive underbelly of punk, as well as the first connective sparks between this local subculture and the international fashion world. cheap Canada Goose

canada goose uk shop was a true artist, the real deal, drawing every day of her life, says Isabelle Bricknall, Brocklehurst close friend and co curator of the exhibition. objective was never money. The art establishment at that time wouldn have touched punks with a ten foot bargepole, but she saw something there. She was ahead of her time. She graduated four years later, by which time the staid traditions of fashion illustration, mainly tasteful renditions of Parisian haute canada goose outlet shop couture, were no longer exciting. Brocklehurst took her rigorous academic training and turned her attention to London seedy underworld, immersing herself in the nascevnt official canada goose outlet punk scene of the late 1960s and the fetish canada goose outlet store clubs where people were exploring alternative sexualities. canada goose uk shop

canada goose uk black friday Brocklehurst sported a wig and sunglasses, moving around stealthily to capture her subjects at their most unguarded moments canada goose uk black friday

Canada Goose Online Brocklehurst frequented these overlooked corners canada goose outlet new york city of the city in disguise and with her sketchbook in hand, moving around stealthily to capture her subjects at their most unguarded moments. Canada Goose Online

Canada Goose online Her personal life was equally secretive. Brocklehurst always canada goose outlet in usa refused to reveal her exact age, but it has been accepted she was canada goose outlet store uk born at some point in the 1930s, the illegitimate child of an affair between a senior political goose outlet canada figure from Sri canada goose outlet sale Lanka and an English mother. She was so guarded about her background that many of her friends did not even realise her dual heritage. Canada Goose online

View canada goose jacket outlet image of Brocklehurst immersed herself in the punk scene

Canada Goose Coats On Sale Bright lights, big cities Canada Goose Coats On Sale

canada goose coats on sale She also had an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time. A tireless traveller, Brocklehurst spent extended periods in Berlin and New York, crossing paths with everyone from Siouxsie Sioux and Billy Idol to Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. She even exhibited in the headline grabbing 1980 exhibition at London Institute of Contemporary Arts, Women Images of Men, followed by successful gallery shows in canada goose outlet uk the city in 1981 and 1982. Whether immersed in the anti establishment spirit of the 1960s, hanging around with the 1970s Pop artists in New York, canada goose outlet reviews a stalwart of the Blitz club kids scene in 1980s Soho, canada goose outlet online uk she was always observing, always recording and always honing her craft. canada goose coats on sale

uk canada goose She became one of fashion best kept secrets Isabelle Bricknall uk canada goose

Canada Goose sale all that, she was never seduced by fame, Bricknall says. knew who she was, and would try and jump in front of her and get their picture drawn in the clubs. Even with the following generations, people like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, who were around when Jo was a septuagenarian. She became one of fashion best canada goose outlet canada goose outlet uk sale kept secrets. If you were really hip and happening, Jo would draw you. canada goose black friday sale The irony is that she never knew who the people were; she had no interest in celebrity. It was usually up to me to identify who she drawn on one of her nights out. But she arguably fits better into the lineage of 20th Century documentary artists who placed their subjects first and their egos second. Like Diane Arbus or Mary Ellen Mark, Brocklehurst shows an interest in those who lived their lives at the fringes of society, granting them the dignity they canada goose outlet black friday may never have been afforded elsewhere. Canada Goose sale

uk canada goose outlet Sunglasses at night uk canada goose outlet

loved Leonora Carrington and Frida Kahlo, for example, because they were women of convinction. They canada goose outlet online stepped outside the norms of their societies, says Bricknall. was aware of the importance of her gender in being a documentary artist, because there a certain trust afforded to women that means they can go places men can Even though she could be quite an intimidating presence fabulous looking and a lady of mystery people were drawn to her like a magnet. records of the culture in which they were produced, the drawings offer a refreshingly personal antidote to the black and white photography of punk genesis you might find elsewhere. Brocklehurst saw her subjects in pulsing, kaleidoscopic colour: the heat flushing their cheeks, thick veins winding up their forearms, lurid pink flesh that seems to throb. It a visceral experience witnessing them up close, dragging the viewer into the din and heat of their underground world. By isolating her subjects from the chaotic context of a club or a drag bar, she grants them a seductive subjectivity. We’re left canada goose outlet jackets to fill in the gaps, to construct our own debauched narratives for each of these weird and wonderful characters.

canada goose store saw her art as a sacred act and if I say that to some people, their shutters canada goose outlet toronto factory come down, because it’s not cool to think about it like that but Jo was very spiritual. She was drawing with sunglasses on, and canada goose outlet parka I see her pick up her pencils or brushes and start making these initial marks in vibrant colours. I asked her how canada goose outlet she did that, and she explained that she saw auras around people. On the fetish scene, she saw people as either angelic or demonic, and she’d represent that. might come across like a classic British eccentric, but her prodigious abilities and relentless curiosity speak otherwise. Her work isn just impressive for its refusal to patronise its subjects, but also for its playfulness and wit. canada goose store

Canada Goose Parka View image of Brocklehurst saw her subjects in pulsing, kaleidoscopic colour Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose Jackets A final https://www.gooseyou.com series is displayed at the end of the exhibition, inspired by Alice in Wonderland supposedly from after Brocklehurst returned from a stint in New York and felt compelled to reacquaint herself with a sense of Englishness. Cream teas and summer fetes, however, this is not. Brocklehurst offers a radical reimagining of the characters, the Queen of Hearts resplendent in an armour like fetish gown. At a time when the transgressive edges of London’s nightlife are gradually eroding, let’s hope Brocklehurst drawings, and the thrilling culture that went with it, don end up as relics of a bygone Britain. Canada Goose Jackets

canada goose coats This story is a part of BBC Britain a series focused on exploring this extraordinary island, one story at a time. Readers outside of the UK can see every BBC Britain story by heading to the Britain homepage; you also can see our latest stories by following us on Facebook and Twitter. canada goose coats

canada goose clearance If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking canada goose clearance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

XHTML: You can use these tags <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>