POSTER COLLECTIVE BIO
In 1971 at the Slade School of Art, University College, a group formed to initially produce posters in response to the miners strike and on the wars in both Vietnam and Ireland. It was formed on the basis of developing a coherent visual style, which addressed the political issues of the time. This included the armed struggles against colonialism in Africa, the struggle of women for equal rights and the continuing struggle against racism.
The group evolved, but continued to be based in different locations in London throughout the 1970s and 80s and included practising artists, photographers and filmmakers. Several bases for production were setup, including for many years an abandoned building in Tolmers Square. It was broadly based and non-aligned.
The production of individual posters responding to single issues continued as the group enlarged and worked with different organisations. It collaborated with local and national trade unions, women’s organisations, community organisations and international organizations. Many volunteers came from other countries including Chile, Holland, Africa, USA, Argentina, Ireland and Brazil.
It was a non-profit making organisation and although numerous volunteers - fundamental to the collective- worked for short periods of time, the core group worked full time on a voluntary basis for a number of years.
Over two decades the Poster Collective produced numerous hand printed posters to support campaigns and large series of educational posters challenging the dominant views of history. It also organised exhibitions, produced tape slide shows and a film.
Poem posters were also produced, using poems by Bertolt Brecht and others as the collective attempted to combine image and text in various ways.
There was also an attempt to link issues by giving them historical context. These posters were produced and sold as 12 part sets and included a set attempting to analise politics and democracy within the emerging free-market economy. Another set, ‘Whose World is the World’ (the history of colonialism) was made with schoolteachers to use as a visual aid in order to address what was rapidly becoming a multicultural society. ‘Between Future and Past’ put the ongoing struggle for women's equality in the West into a historical context. 'Future Fictions', produced when the collective moved to the North London Polytechnic is a set of posters reflecting on technological development and leads us to address environmental issues of today.
Core members of the group included (in alphabetical order):
Bernadette Brittain Andrew Darley David Fox Judith Fox Christine Halsall Jonathan Miles Nancy Schiesari Steven Sprung
Silvia Stevens Martin Walker Annie Grove-White