In the Seventies, when Jamaican music ran rife with reggae beats, an energetic new genre called dancehall began to make waves. As dancehall’s often controversial lyrics boomed from stereo systems across the nation, a new breed of dance and subsequent dance parties took shape. Most interestingly, vibrant advertising for the new culture began to turn people’s heads all over the world.
Sydney artist Robin Clare, who was born in Jamaica, has based a new exhibition around the edgy Pop Art-inspired advertisements that helped shape Jamaica’s musical identity. A repetition of prints a la Andy Warhol style, blended with bold and wacky text (which makes reference to some of the out-there dancehall party promotional slogans) create eye-catching artworks, filled with added nostalgia.
Modern day Jamaican advertisements for have also been incorporated into Clare’s multi-sized collections of prints. But no dancehall-inspired art exhibition would be complete without some wicked beats to accompany it. The Large, a London dancehall-inspired DJ will hit the decks during the night. She’s one part of the Hipsters Don’t Dance DJ collective as well as one of the editors behind the popular dancehall online zine, Shimmy Shimmy. Dancing shoes required.