NEWS: Freaks! The Alternative Press & The Psychedelic Underground @ NewBridge Books | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Oz Magazine, on display as part of the FREAKS! exhibition

A private collection of artworks, which document the alternative press and psychedelic underground of 60’s Britain and the USA, will be going on display at NewBridge Books this month.

The archival collection and exhibition will feature an array of publications, posters, vinyl and paraphernalia. Alternative press zines such as the UK’s psychedelic OZ Magazine, known for their often controversial and explicit covers, counterculture mag International Times, rock magazine ZigZag, the politically leaning Mole Express and the North East’s own Muther Grumble feature heavily, with hippy-inspired film posters and poetry posters by beat authors also on display.

Curator E F English was inspired to bring the exhibition of his collected artefacts together after the death of his father, who was an antiquarian bookseller. “I had amassed a collection of counter cultural things that had stood out to me for their beautiful design, and which influenced my own art practice, that I had come across on the antiquarian book trade and collected from the old guard hippy dealers.” English explains.

Much of the artwork demonstrates the ‘far out’ designs prevalent in the UK and US during the 60s, a collection of psychedelic vinyl artwork, from acid folk to psych rock, demonstrates the mood of the times. Also on display is a collection of books from the era – from beat authors to material popular with the counter culture, including the UK underground poetry resurgence which included Newcastle’s Morden Tower.

“I thought an exhibition would be the best way to display the collection and get people interested in the designs, how liberal and controversial they were, and inspire people to make DIY zines and artwork inspired by that utopian hippy dream.”

The launch of a new edition of English’s Greyscale Poetry Zine, plus artistic workshops in printing and zine making, will also take place throughout the exhibition.

Freaks! The Alternative Press & The Psychedelic Underground is at NewBridge Books, Newcastle until September.

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