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From Bob Marley to The Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Badges honours past music eras

POP culture enthusiasts will be able to take a walk down a musical Memory Lane with a new exhibition of vintage badges celebrating past music eras.

Watergate Street Gallery in Chester is the venue taking visitors on an inspiring visual journey of nostalgia with Never Mind the Badges which celebrates past music eras in the form of large-scale, vintage badge recreations from the 1960s through to the 1990s.

Tony Dennis, aka Tape Deck Art, will be showcasing more than 60 of these vibrant, music-inspired, giant badges in his first solo show from Friday, June 25 until Sunday, July 11 2021.

Tony is a British, contemporary artist with a passion for music and design, who started his art career painting giant tickets of gigs and sporting events from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Tony and his badges

On the back of this success, he decided to create pieces of artwork that would reflect his passion for collecting vintage punk badges from the mid to late 1970s. The result was a series of large, eye-catchingly tactile and unique 3D pin badges based on designs he had in his collection. 

After nearly nine months of research and after fabricating countless prototypes, Tony created his first badge in early 2017 – a painting of The Sex PistolsGod Save the Queen. Since then, he has produced collections of badges which have been sold throughout the UK and United States.

Tony said: “I’m thrilled to be showcasing my music-inspired, giant 3D pin badges for the first time at Watergate Street Gallery. Nostalgia was always a big part of my badge collecting. I think, for most people, collecting is a form of escapism from the stresses of every day life and also pride of ownership. My pin badges have a vintage look and I wanted each of them to have their own character. My goal was to create an over-sized pin badge that someone has just rediscovered from their youth.”

There will be an opportunity to ‘meet the artist’ at The Cavern in Watergate Street Gallery on Friday between 6-9pm (private view/launch) and Saturday, 11am-3pm

The exhibition will run until Sunday, July 11, 2021. Please book here for free tickets (numbers are strictly limited):

Never Mind the Badges is a free exhibition. Watergate Street Gallery is a Covid-secure venue and is open 7 days a week: 60 Watergate Street, Chester CH1 2LA

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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