Art and letters

‘I don’t think I’m easy to talk about. I’ve got a very irregular head. And I’m not anything that you think I am anyway,’ Syd Barrett told Rolling Stone magazine in 1971.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so for those in the dark about the mythical former Pink Floyd genius that was Syd Barrett, next month’s show at London’s Idea Generation gallery may help to shed some light.

Artwork by Barrett.  Courtesy of Jenny Spires
Artwork by Barrett. Courtesy of Jenny Spires

Syd Barrett: Art and Letters will show the largest collection of Barrett’s artworks and photographs to date, celebrating the release of the book, Barrett: The Definitive Visual Companion, by Essential Works.

Previously unseen photographs of Barrett and his band mates will be on display, as well as highly personal artefacts such as letters he wrote to his first loves, Libby and Jenny.

Roger Barrett  Courtesy of Giuliano Navarro Collection
Artwork by Barrett. Courtesy of Giuliano Navarro Collection

There will also be a series of notes on display detailing the birth and early background of Pink Floyd, as well as paintings, sketches and mosaics, offering an insight into his bizarre and frequently troubled psyche.

The exhibition also features a series of images by renowned music photographer Mick Rock.

Artwork by Barrett. Courtesy of Libby Gausden-Chisman
Artwork by Barrett. Courtesy of Libby Gausden-Chisman

Barrett’s sister, Rosemary Breen, says, ‘Syd would be so surprised and pleased to know this exhibition is taking place. He was never more content than when sketching or painting, be it cartoons, abstracts or still life.

‘Syd felt above all he was an artist and loved experimenting with different mediums, sometimes just to see what might happen!’

Courtesy of the Estate of Roger Keith Barrett aka Syd Barrett
Syd Barrett. Photo courtesy of the Estate of Roger Keith Barrett aka Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett: Art and Letters is on show at the Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street, London E2, from 8 March – 20 April. Barrett, The Definitive Visual Companion, is published on 18 March by Essential Works.

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