As the current academic year ends, so my academic year ended just a mere 31 years ago.
Like today’s student, we were all broke. In April of that year London sore what was described by Lord Scarman ‘as the worst outbreak of disorder in the UK this century’.
The United Kingdom was in Recession...Again.
Somehow I found the money to buy that years ‘European Illustration’ Annual. It just meant I lived for a few more weeks on Crawfords crackers and a pot of strawberry jam. Luxury!
The book was an astonishing and inspirational collection of Britons greatest Illustrators. Many of them had been my tutors, one of which had a big influence on my work and my thinking about images.
Bush Holyhead was part of the Hipgnosis design group [ Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, T Rex...] He was to form a working partnership, around that time, with George Hardie and Malcolm Harrison, to be known as NTA.
I can recall Bush working with the band The Undertones, designing the cover for the LP ‘Positive Touch’. Time can play tricks on the memory but I’m sure he was nominated for a Grammy Award for the work. I think the design for the Rolling Stones album ‘Tattoo You’ won and over a few beers we decided it was fixed.
This is one of his great drawings which was included in that Annual. Many designers and Illustrators of my generation regard his work as being genius. A marriage of pure drawing, surrealism and the comic book. I am honoured to have been taught by, worked with and know the great Bush Holyhead.
Image ‘The Fox’ Watney's Brewe