Punk: Rage & Revolution
Leicester museum & Art Gallery and Soft Touch Arts

27th May – 3rd September 2023

Punk: Rage & Revolution, at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery and Soft Touch Arts, tells the story of the 1970’s UK punk scene through objects, information panels and ephemera, including the first retrospective of original clothing from the late Dame Vivienne Westwood. The exhibition also includes artwork from Jamie Reid, the artist behind the iconic Sex Pistols cover designs.

Alongside origins and influences, the exhibition looks at punk’s ideology, attitude, fashion, music, art and legacy. The exhibition also includes quotes from punks from the 1970s – those that were there – each one offering a unique personal insight into this incredible youth subculture.

The exhibition has been co-curated and co-designed by young people from Soft Touch Arts, and there are responses from young people throughout the exhibition on what punk means to them today.

Punk In Leicester

As well as the national perspective, the exhibition also explores the Leicester punk scene, with its pubs, clubs, venues and characters. It focuses on the Leicester creatives – Stephane Raynor, David Parkinson, Roger K Burton, Steve Pyke, Helen Robinson, Juliana Sissons and Joe Orton –  who each influenced the development of punk on a national scale via fashion, photography and literature.

The exhibition features clothing from The Contemporary Wardrobe Collection, which was founded by Roger K Burton. This incredible collection of original punk clothing, including items from Seditionaries, BOY and Sex, will sit alongside original items loaned by Leicester punks and museum collections.

“The punk scene was really accepting because it also had a lot of reggae going on. When you dig a bit deeper, you’d find the punks and the rastas had a similar kind of viewpoint, that thing of people telling you that you’re wrong all the time, or you shouldn’t be doing that. It’s rebel music ultimately…”

Fitz Samuel

Young People's Content

Young people across Leicester have been learning and responding to the history of punk via Soft Touch Arts, finding that some of the issues punks reacted against in the mid 70s are similar to the issues they face today. Young people have been making fanzines, styling hair, exploring & creating sustainable fashion, recording music – and much more – all featured in the exhibition. The story of how the young people helped curate and develop the exhibition will be on display at Soft Touch Arts.

Punk: Rage & Revolution: Extended
Soft Touch Arts (opposite Leicester Museum)

27th May – 3rd September 2023

Monday to Friday: 11am – 4.30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 11am – 5pm

Racism, environmental concerns, squatting and mental health issues – discover how some of the issues punks faced in the mid 70s are similar to the issues young people face today in Punk: Rage & Revolution – Extended. Learn about being a teenage punk in the 1970s, what’s punk now and how today’s young people look back on punk. Cafe open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 11-2pm. Free admission.

Punk: Rage and Revolution: Reimagined
DMU Student’s Work
The Lightbox Gallery, LCB Depot

1st – 25th August 2023

Young people from various creative courses at De Montfort University will be creating designs which will feature at the LCB Depot’s Lightbox Gallery. Courses including Fashion Communication, Fashion & Textile Design, Graphic Design & Illustration and Game Art design will be displaying their own interpretations of punk and what it means to young people today.

More information coming soon.

Jamie Reid Social Injustice Exhibition
The Gallery, De Montfort University

8th July – 2nd September 2023

Jamie Reid (born 1947) is a British artist and political activist who was involved in the student movement of 1968 where he and Malcolm McLaren organised an occupation of the college. Reid is best known for designing album covers for the British punk rock band the Sex Pistols. These covers featured letters cut from newspaper headlines in the style of a ransom note which became a defining aesthetic of punk rock.

The Gallery will be hosting Reid’s social injustice protest work for the Anti Poll Tax Alliance to Pussy Riot, his ten year cycle of installation at the Strongroom Studios in London and through to his exploration of the celestial and spiritual Eight Fold Year. Reid continues to engage visually with socio-political situations, such as Occupy, Extinction Rebellion and the Free Pussy Riot movement.

More information coming soon.

Punk : Rage & Revolution 2
Northampton Museum & Gallery

16th September 2023 – 3rd March 2024

The 70s Punk era returns to Northampton with a blockbuster exhibition running September 2023 to March 2024. The exhibition will look at the national picture of punk and the Northampton scene. It will tell the stories of local bands such as The Russians, The Submerged Tenth, and the I-Saws, and incidents such as the infamous ‘Custard Pie Fight of Wellingborough Road’. The exhibition is for those who were there and those who weren’t. It looks at the evolution of punk and its lasting legacy on music, fashion, and culture today, including arguably Northampton’s most famous band Bauhaus. Find out about the bands, the people, the scene, memorable gigs, and the impact punk had on their lives.

Punk : Rage & Revolution 3
Nottingham Backlit Gallery

November 17th – December 17th 2023 in the second floor gallery

BACKLIT offers a dynamic public programme of national and international artists including original artist commissions, workshops, screenings and live debates. More information about Backlit’s Rage & Revolution exhibition will be coming soon.