Art in the Dancehall at KK outlet

Work / Exhibition

Fantastic showcase of Jamaican dance hall illustration at KK Outlet

Make sure that if you’re in London you check out another cracker of a show at London’s KK Outlet, this time showcasing the underground illustrations of Jamaican dancehalls. Curated by music aficionados Suze Webb and Al Fingers, the show (which opens tonight) is a selection of some of the artwork created in the 1980s by some of the go-to artists of the time, to those still standing strong and keeping it alive today.

Not just a bunch of posters, the underlying theme in this show is the politics of 1980s Jamaica and the effect this had on creatives at the time: “This scene revolved around live deejay performances, dance moves, slackness and soundclash. And mirroring the change in the music were illustrators and graphic designers translating the energy, colour, invention and playfulness of dancehall into image.”

So expect bright colours, brilliant cartoons and perhaps the urge to have a beer in your hand and your feet tapping on a sticky floor. Luckily for all of us, it’s the Notting Hill Carnival this weekend – so finding those things is nay going to be a problem.

Art in the Dancehall runs until September 3.


GABE, Art In The Dancehall poster design, 2012.


Sassafras, Volcano dance poster, 1983.


Limonious, Frankie Paul – Shut Up Bway LP cover, 1986 (Ujama).


GABE, Life Sweet, 2012.


Jamaal Pete, Toyan – Toyan LP cover, 1982 (J&L Records).


Limonious, Little John – True Confession LP cover illustration, 1984 (Power House).


Limonious, Various Artists – Labrish Vol. 2 LP cover, 1987 (Dennis Star).


Tony McDermott, Yellowman Versus Josey Wales – Two Giants Clash LP cover illustration, 1984 (Greensleeves Records).


Limonious, Various Artists – Original Stalag 17-18 and 19 LP cover, 1985 (Techniques).