Crass – the Art!


Much respect to the Horse Hospital in London for hosting this unusual art show – Alan Dearling

Thanks to Andy, who was ‘curating’ at the Horse Hospital for a nice and very friendly ‘conversation’ at the Crass Show. A very suitable venue for anarcho-punk, Crass Art! It’s a museum dedicated to hosting counter-cultural creativity.  Here’s their description of the organisation/space:

“The Horse Hospital is a unique arts venue in London which has been providing a space for underground and avantgarde media since 1993. We offer regular events to our members showing rare film, music, and art.”  It is located very close to Russell Square tube station on the corner of the Colonnade. It looks a bit like a Victorian dungeon or an asylum. Here’s what Alan Moore has said about the Horse Hospital: “There’s not another venue like it on the planet. The Horse Hospital, crouched there in Bloomsbury on Colonnade’s chopped-off corner since the 18th century, engulfs the visitor on entry in its cask-aged atmospherics, otherworldly and unique… ” — Writer and visionary artist, Alan Moore, March 2020.

The show was billed as: An exhibition of artworks made by Gee Vaucher for the iconic collective and art punk band Crass.

Crass have always been challenging, indeed, intentionally confrontational.  A musical hand-grenade, primed and ready to explode. But whatever you think about their music, Gee Vaucher’s artwork is intensely original and was well worth seeing in the flesh, so to speak. Gee was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex in 2016. 

The exhibition was linked with the launch of a new book: ‘CRASS, A Pictorial History’ and the screening of the film: ‘Semi-Detached’, which I believe that members of Crass attended.

Steve Ignorant is back performing Crass songs live. Here’s a recent video of him talking on ‘Last Rockers TV’ about life, depression, music and Crass:

Inside the ground-floor space at the Horse Hospital there was minimal lighting on the artworks, making it more than a trifle tricky to photograph the exhibits. If you’re into photography in low-light conditions you’ll know all about very limited ‘depth of field’, meaning that only a small portion of any photo will be absolutely in total sharp focus. However, in some instances this lends the artworks, mostly cut-up collages, even more of an unworldly, spooky quality!

And here is a 2013 video created at the Anarchist Book Fair in San Francisco. There, Dave King met up with Gee Vaucher, and founding Crass member, writer and activist, Penny Rimbaud. Gee is the long-term creative partner of Penny. The conversation delves into the art and the lifestyle that grew out of the Crass community home at Dial House, near Epping in Essex, where they have lived, worked, and created anarchistic weirdness.

The Art of Punk – Crass:

As well as a plentiful selection of Gee’s art, as part of the exhibition there were books and albums from, and about, Crass on sale.

A veritable anarchistic treasure trove of Crass. Or, perhaps an anachronistic Capitalist collection of materialism!

For more information about events at the London Horse Hospital:
































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