An exhibition inspired by music – created by Pinky
Inspired by a misspent youth in the record shops of Hull, artist Pinky (aka Luke Pink) has created his very own fantasy record label. This includes a surreal, psychedelic collection of hand painted record covers and home made imitation vinyl records with hand drawn labels.
Growing up in Hull these record covers gave Pinky access to a world of pop culture that stimulated his imagination and contributed to his career as an artist and illustrator. His art promotes positivity, love and peaceful protest.
The exhibition Spin Out, running until 18 March at Sound System Records, is a chance to experience the imagination of one of Hull’s best loved artists in a classic record shop. Pinky was an early pioneer of the graffiti art scene in Hull, helping to put our city on the alternative arts map both in the UK and across the world.
We had a brief catch up with Pinky to find out more about his exhibition.
For those who aren’t aware of Pinky, who are you and how would you describe your art?
I’m an artist. My art is positive, psychedelic, colourful, challenging and fun. It’s a response to the modern obsession with negativity and bad news. My practice promotes the view that art should be a release from the worries of modern life, an escape from the mundane. I’m a realist trying to be an optimist.
Can you tell us more about the idea behind your new exhibition, Spin Out?
Growing up in Hull there was very little access to the world of art and culture other than the Ferens. I would trawl through the racks at local record shops looking for inspiration, the clues to what was going on out there.
The album covers became as important to me as the music. I’ve always been a very visual person and these early experiences inspired the new exhibition Spin Out!
How has your interest in vinyl helped influence your art as a whole?
I’m not a vinyl obsessive but records have always been part of my life. I would buy second hand vinyl from charity shops just for the covers. The artwork is the right size to make an impact. I can’t imagine anyone framing a CD cover and hanging it on the wall.
If you could take your favourite lyrics and re-create them visually, what would they be and what do they look like?
I’ve actually done this a few times! I worked on a series of paper cuts a few years ago influenced by classic song lyrics.
This new exhibition takes the idea further – it’s inspired by the feel of those bands and music that I’ve always loved. The Beatles’ Illustrated Lyrics by Alan Aldridge who just passed away was also an early influence.
What records are you spinning at the moment?
Those classic 12″ from Pork Recordings have been getting a spin down at Sound System Records. Back in the studio it’s Pipers at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd.
What piece of work are you most proud of and why?
Artists are often asked that question and to be honest I don’t really think about it that much. I’m too busy thinking about what to do NEXT. I’m proud of the big public art pieces I’ve done over the years like the Pinkfriargate project in 2010 that celebrated the Round the World Clipper Race, but honestly I don’t linger on what’s past, it’s all about the NOW!
Why did you make the move down to Brighton?
Because it’s awesome! Seriously it’s just so visually stimulating. I walk around all day just looking at the place and thinking wow, I still can’t believe I live here. It’s been ten years now and it’s still revealing surprises. Before I moved to Brighton I spent seven years in London and then few months living in San Francisco so Brighton is like a mixture of both. The only thing I miss is space. Hull has a lot of space. I love that about Hull, the wild spaces.
This may be obvious, but if you could create a world of ‘Pinky‘ what colour would the sky be and why?
… PINK! I live by the beach and the sky is often pink. Maybe I have created a world of ‘Pinky’.
What do you love most about Hull and why?
People say what they think and do what they like – there is room to experiment without the financial pressures of life in the other places. It’s a great place to practice and learn your skills.
Why is it so important for you to remain closely connected to Hull?
When I moved to London I realised the freedom and experimentation I’d experienced in Hull wasn’t universal and that Hull was an unusual place. It always seemed natural to stay connected to Hull as my family and friends are there too.
I curated an exhibition in London in 2004 called The Incredible Hull. It featured ten Hull artists who had left the city and were making artistic waves in the wider world. But you know, I balance this by remembering – it’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.
I’d also like to create a cultural exchange between Hull and Brighton. Both cities have a lot to give each other. Hull with its freedom and space and Brighton with its energy and openness.
SPIN OUT: An exhibition inspired by music – created by Pinky runs until Saturday 18 March at Sound System Records, 8 Bowlalley Lane, Hull, HU1 1XR