20 Jul 2017


Tasked with creating an artwork, renowned British artist Nigel Waymouth developed a screen printed poster of which only 100 editions exist. The iconic artist drew on his background as founder of 60s fashion mecca Granny Takes a Trip and one half of art duo Hapshash and the Coloured Coat. Responsible for many of the most recognisable concert posters and record covers of the time for Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Soft Machine, of which a selection are included in the permanent collection at the V&A Museum, Waymouth is no stranger to creating highly significant representations of culture, music and fashion.

Starting with a panoramic image taken from the highest bar in the World, the artist took inspiration from the electric Hong Kong skyline at dusk, creating a neon pink starry backdrop for the poster. Carefully researched by Waymouth, each detail included in the screen print has symbolic meaning. The work features a phoenix for peace and prosperity, Chinese dragons to signifying strength and luck, and the circular dragon coil for longevity. “All the elements: water, air fire, earth, they’re all there.” And the hot air balloon? “Well, that’s the human touch”, explains Waymouth.


Nigel Waymouth was born in India. His early childhood was spent in Argentina until he moved to England in 1953. In 1964, after graduating from University College London with an economics degree, Nigel began a career as a freelance feature writer for various specialist journals.

In January 1966 he and two partners, Sheila Cohen and John Pearse, opened the original rock-chic fashion boutique, Granny Takes a Trip.

Here he designed clothes and the fast changing shop fronts that featured art nouveau sirens, Sioux war chieftains and later a 1947 Dodge saloon that was sawn in half and appeared to burst out of the shop. The shop was a Mecca for visiting celebrities such as The Beatles, The Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Barbara Streisand, Brigitte Bardot and Andy Warhol.

While still involved in Granny Takes a Trip, Nigel began to design posters and record covers under the name Hapshash and the Coloured Coat with fellow artist, Michael English. Many of these posters including an iconic poster advertising Jimi Hendrix's 1967 San Francisco concert, are now highly sought-after. Many have been included in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and in 1999 were the subject of a major retrospective exhibition. The Tate Gallery in Liverpool also included many of these designs in the "Summer of Love Psychedelic Art, 1967" exhibition in 2005, which traveled to Brooklyn in the summer of 2007.

Since the 1980s, Nigel has pursued a successful career as a fine art painter, particularly as a much sought after portraitist. He has frequently exhibited in Britain and abroad. His paintings and drawings form part of many distinguished public and private collections.

Having lived in Los Angeles for 12 years Nigel Waymouth now lives in London again.

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