|Vidal Sassoon creating Mary Quant's signature bob|
|Sue Bradley's work at Milsom Place|
I've always been a fan of Sue's work and it got me thinking about how over the years I've been influenced by both Pop and OpArt.
|More of Sue's work exhibited in Milsom Place|
|Peter Blake's Sgt Pepper Album cover|
Youth was empowered! The Beatles and other Liverpool bands revolutionised popular music with the Mersey beat. In the States Bob Dylan rallied a generation with his protest songs and the wild, inventive guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix made him a style icon of the time. Pop festivals mushroomed and Woodstockdefined a generation of flower powered, pot-smoking, peace-lovers, who read Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception and J.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
Many young people shunned western religion, the Buddhist search for nirvana had a wide appeal. In London it was not unusual to see the saffron robes usually worn by Tibetan monks, even if the wearer hailed from no further east than Stepney. One of my favourite cookery books was Edward Espe Brown's Tassajara Bread Book, a collection of deliciously scrumptious breads, biscuits and cakes, edited by one of the monks at the Californian Zen Buddhist monastery at Tassajara. I still bake their heavenly banana bread whenever time and ripe bananas permit.
Food played a big part in Pop Art. In England David Hockney produced TyphooTea, one of the earliest paintings to portray a brand-name commercial product. In the US Rauschenberg painted cast bronzes of Ballantine beer cans, Claes Oldenburg constructed garish, humorous plastic sculptures of hamburgers and other fast-food items, whilst Andy Warhol immortalised the Campbell’s soup-can.
However, it was the powerfully graphic images of Op Artists like Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley that intrigued me. Op Art got its name from the optical tricks used to create the illusion of movement through spirals, circles, stripes and squares. Some years ago I was delighted to come across many of Vasarely’s magical paintings and shimmering tapestries in a gallery which was once his home in Gordes, Provence.
|Bridget Riley's Blaze 1|