Friday, February 4, 2011

Syd Barrett | Art and Letters

Syd Barrett | Art and Letters

by Rachel on 2011-01-28 13:50:23 UTC
18/03/11 - 10/04/11

The myth behind some of rock n’ roll’s most outrageous stories, Syd Barrett was the pioneering songwriter and musical visionary of the greatest psychedelic rock band in history, Pink Floyd. For the first time, the largest collection of unseen photographs, personal love letters and original artworks will go on display offering an unprecedented insight into the inspired life of this rock legend.

“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!” Rosemary Breen (Syd’s sister)

Syd Barrett | Art and Letters, will be the first and largest exhibition of its kind, offering a rare insight into the lesser known side to the original Pink Floyd frontman’s inspiration and creativity. The exhibition will include a series of previously unseen photographs ranging from intimate images from Syd’s childhood holidays through to the psychedelic hothouse of 1960s progressive rock as well as personal love notes written during the early days of Pink Floyd. Not only a stunning documentary of Syd Barrett, the exhibition features a series of completely unseen photographs of early Pink Floyd, including the first ever images of the band playing live in Denmark and images by the photographer Mick Rock he had considered lost forever. The exhibition will also include an extraordinary collection of Syd Barrett’s original artworks – the largest to date.

Syd Barrett | Art and Letters will put the artist in a completely new light, allowing us to celebrate his life as an exceptionally gifted painter as well as iconic musician. This exhibition accompanies the publication of the book Barrett: The definitive visual companion by Essential Works. See

Photographs and letters, part of this remarkable exhibition, reveal the real Syd Barrett, from the energetic and dynamic live performer to the sensitive private individual. Sessions of The Madcap Laughs and Barrett albums will be exhibited, demonstrating Barrett at his most outgoing and eclectic best. Images also visit the infamous London Free School gigs, the launch of IT at the Roundhouse and the psychedelic UFO nights.

“I was standing at the front but couldn’t move, I could only take pictures of Syd Barrett and Nick Mason. After the concert, Syd Barrett said ‘Why do the audience scream so much? Why don’t they clap?” Nick Aarestrup Roddik, photographer at The Boom Dancing Center, 1967

Love letters, such as those to his first girlfriends, Libby and Jenny, reveal an intimate, generous and loving side to Barrett’s character. These notes also document in detail the birth of Pink Floyd and reveal some of the early background behind the band that went on to encapsulate the 60’s underground music scene and gain a legion of loyal supporters.
“Syd Barrett’s continued fame as a musician would have surprised someone who spent the majority of his life as a

painter & writer, and who valued newness over all else. Despite Syd routinely disposing of his paintings, Syd Barrett | Art and Letters is a comprehensive display of Syd’s noted originality, unique imagination and commitment. The exhibition presents the most vivid picture that we are likely to ever see and is above all, something new.”
For more information and to be added to the guest list for the private view on 17th March please contact

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