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Barney Bubbles

Colin Fulcher aka Barney Bubbles (July 1942 - Nov 1983) was a radical English visual artist whose work encompassed many disciplines including graphic design, music video direction, and painting. Born in Tranmere Road, Whitton, Middlesex in July 1942, he lived in the Portobello Road, London in the 1960s, and was closely associated with Hawkwind as an artistic collaborator and album cover designer. He committed suicide in 1983.

After working for Conran in the mid 1960s - where he worked on a variety of design projects - he delved into the British counter-culture scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s and became an earnest contributor to numerous underground publications, which included Oz issues 12 and 38, Friends and Frendz. He also operated lightshows at the Roundhouse and other venues, including a short stint in San Francisco. During this early period, Barney Bubbles' work can sometimes be found under the name A1 Good Guyz (with David Wills) and Teenburger. Later on in life he would work totally anonymously, or under more pseudonyms.

Barney Bubbles designed the Norman archer logo for Strongbow cider, and when the NME was redesigned in 1978 he created the logo. Contemporary re-worked designs of both of these are still being used.

However, Barney Bubbles is most renowned for his distinctive contribution to the graphic design associated with the British independent music scene during the 1970s and early 80s. Barney Bubbles was responsible for the graphic art associated with many bands, including Hawkwind, Dr Z, Gracious!, Cressida, Michael Moorcock's Deep Fix, Chilli Willi, Red Dirt, Glastonbury Fayre (various artists), Quiver, Quintessence, The Sutherland Brothers, The Edgar Broughton Band, Dirty Looks, The Damned, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Nik Turner's Inner City Unit, Kursaal Flyers, Johnny Moped, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Billy Bragg, The Rumour, Nick Lowe, and record labels such as Stiff Records, Radar Records, F-Beat, Chiswick, Utility and Go! Discs. Much of his work for Stiff, Radar and F-Beat was done closely with Jake Riviera. His work with Ian Dury and the Blockheads resulted in graphics such as the Blockheads "face" logo and the 28 wallpaper sleeves for the band's 1979 album Do It Yourself.

As a video director, he directed several videos including those for Ghost Town by The Specials, Is That Love by Squeeze and The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum) by Fun Boy Three.

In 1982 he recorded an LP "Erzatz" with Nik Turner and other musician friends, under the name "The Imperial Pompadours".

While alive, articles about Barney Bubbles appeared in a small number of publications, including The Face November 1981 (which featured furniture designed by Barney Bubbles during this period). Posthumously he has also received critical acclaim in magazines such as Eye, Sleazenation and Mojo, and in independent exhibitions.

The first book about Barney Bubbles' work, Reasons To Be Cheerful by Paul Gorman, is due to be published in November 2008. This will contain many rare and previously unpublished images, including photographs, working sketches, artist notebooks and original artwork, together with essays and interviews with many friends and family members.

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