‘We worked hard and played hard. We were young’, says Nigel Waymouth, one half of Hapshash & the Coloured Coat, the British design duo that fundamentally shaped today’s view of the 1960s psychedelic, free-spirited aesthetic.
Next month will see the opening of a major exhibition of Waymouth’s sixties work, including artworks from Hapshash & the Coloured Coat and seminal clothing boutique Granny Takes a Trip alongside assorted photographs and other 1960s ephemera.
Graphic design and avant-garde musical partnership Hapshash & the Coloured Coat saw Waymouth, team up with between Michael English. The pair created silkscreen printed posters for ‘happenings’ and gigs, indubitably shaping the vision for generations to some of the decade’s ethereal, bold and opulently laid back sensibilities.
Their inaugural project was creating a poster for the famed, if short-lived, underground UFO Club, which played host to bands including Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, The Move and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
Hapshash & the Coloured Coat’s designs mixed avant-garde and art-nouveau in mesmerising, mind-bending works that capitalized on their intricate style by including explicit images and hidden messages. The characteristic trippy romance of the bright swirls, curves and curling lines because a signature style not just for the club, but for the decade.
In 1966, Waymouth also opened influential boutique Granny Takes a Trip on the Kings Road with Sheila Chone and John Pearse. With Waymouth leading the design for the storefronts, the boutique became famed for its constantly changing façade, which would be pop-art Jean Harlow portraits one day, and a 1948 Dodge Saloon crashing out of the window the next.
Waymouth says, ‘This was the most important creative time of my career as an artist. Having been part of the trio that created Granny Takes a Trip, within a year I was also busy as half of the design duo, Hapshash and the Coloured Coat. Both ventures were vital components of the zeitgeist of the 60s, defining much of the look of the time.’
Hapshash Takes a Trip: the sixties work of Nigel Waymouth runs 9 September – 2 October at Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street London E2, London. For more information visit www.ideageneration.co.uk