ARTCORE at SELFRIDGES exhibition 2009

ArtCore is a joint venture between Mary McCarthy of Dreweatts Auction House and Ernesto Leal from Our Cultural History, is the first ever visual documentation of Acid House and the rave movement.

This historical exhibition celebrates the visual expression of 21 years of dance culture and will feature a host of artworks from the most iconic clubs and raves over that period. These will include the End Club, Queer Nation, Hacienda, Spectrum, Beyond Therapy, Raindance, Tribal Gathering, Circus, Warp, Trade, DIY, Back to Basics, Sign of The Times and many more. It will also feature works on canvas, paper and metal by the movements original artists and designers such as Goldie, Darren Bartlett, Derek Yates, Jason Manning, Kaborn, Junior Tomlin, Rufus Knight Wright, Dave Anderson, Mark Wigan, Trevor Johnston, Chu, Tom Hingston, Jason Kedgley, Matthew Smith, Ollie Trimmings, Pierre Anstis, Inkie, Steve Perry (Pez) and Dave Little.

Acid House and the rave movement had a massive impact not only on the music scene but on our whole culture. It evolved out of a repressed and depressed Britain under Margaret Thatcher and it lead to a movement that brought people of all cultures and classes together in a shared sense of freedom, love and respect for one another. The music was different and exciting and came from the underground. The raves became the home of the Acid House movement and saw thousands of people unite every weekend on a massive hedonistic adventure. At the same time clubs sprang up all over the country to accommodate this new dance culture. It began as a means of expression and escapism but quickly became politicised.

The government tried to gain control of the movement and this eventually led to the Criminal Justice Bill, after the standoff at Castlemorton between 30,000 revellers who had converged for a free party and the police. The new law may have stopped the raves but it was the beginning rather than the end for the dance music scene which has now been going on for just 20 years. Apart from the music, one of the most significant aspects of Acid House and the ensuing dance culture was its visuals. The flyers and posters for the raves and clubs were an integral part of their identity and brought a new form of street art in to the public domain. It also gave a broad platform for new talent such as Steve Pez Perry, Inkie and Peter Saville alongside veterans such as Jamie Reid. Some of the artwork was phenomenal and is as synonymous with the scene, be it rave or club, as the music. ArtCore is the ultimate visual representation of that very special era.