This exhibition will draw upon the archive of artist Aaron Williamson, whilst also incorporating ephemera and documents arising from a call-out to individuals who were active on Derby’s punk scene between 1976 – 1979. The exhibition is focussed not on the actual music that punk threw up, but on the experience and productions of the punk milieu and audience itself in and around Derby, the borough that was granted the status of a city during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, (a national celebration that was the target of much punk derision).
Fanzines, photos, badges, tickets, posters, clothes or any other ephemera that have survived will be collected and exhibited in archival display cases; selected additional printed materials (posters, photos) will be reproduced and fly-posted to the gallery walls, fittingly with wallpaper paste, as with 1970s flyposting.
Derby punk can be dated to the infamous non-appearance of the Sex Pistols at the King’s Hall in November 1976. Despite this absence of a focal performance event, practically all of the young people who assembled outside the King’s Hall that evening went on to form their own bands, publish fanzines, make clothes and promote gigs. Punk was a moment when young people were engaged with autonomous Do-It-Yourself production rather than submitting to the passive consumption of the music industry.
This is the cultural phenomenon that Aaron Williamson hope’s the exhibition will represent.