Heroes & Villains
a show by Peter Lloyd
Opening with an introduction by Derek Boshier Thursday 26th September 6-8pm
Exhibition 27th Sept to 26th October 2019
EVENT Thursday 17th Oct 6-8pm Audience Panel Discussion FREE
This project is supported by Arts Council England
‘Heroes & Villains’ is a new series that taps into a similar pop cultural vibe (as his Lucha Libre wrestlers) and again adopts a similar vibrant billboard ad-land palette but it’s origin is more personal and his intent more serious. The trigger for Heroes and Villains was witnessing the incredible, empowering effect a family outing to the local cinema, to see Black Panther, had on the family - Peter’s wife Sharon is of Black Jamaican heritage and his children mixed heritage. Peter was looking forward to an enjoyable Hollywood action movie and was totally unprepared for it’s affect on his wife and kids for whom it was an affirming, optimistic, enabling and confidence building event; “one of those fantastic moments in life when you realise the ordinary has suddenly become ‘extra’ordinary. For the first time they had seen a film with a full cast of black actors, unflawed, leading the way, superhero’s no less!” These were characters in full control of not only their own futures, but the future of the world and everybody that populated it. They could completely relate to it, revel in it and, for the first time watching a movie they could imagine themselves being able to do exactly the same thing. For his family and, judging by the public and industry response to the film, this was more than a super hero movie, it was an inspirational experience that allowed people to project, reconsider and reposition themselves. The effect on Peter was profound, “not being able to preempt the response of the people I am closest to on the planet made me seriously check myself. There was something here that I hadn’t ‘got’, there was something here that I truly needed to get under the skin of.” Heroes & Villains came into being as a new body of work that takes a similar approach to the Wrestler series but sees the artist looking out rather than in. Still bright, colourful & accessible, this body of work deals with some difficult issues and events. They relate to perceptions of identity; self-perception, the perceived, the observed and understood. He wants to present aspirrational, iconic figures that underpin and inspire positive affirmations of the black self; “if you can see it, you can be it.” This body of work is about making sure that there is something there to see in the first place.
As a printmaker Peter Lloyd has always admired the graphic immediacy and accessibility of the propaganda created by the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, Emory Douglas. He also relates to popular culture; science fiction, fantasy, comics, films, animation, badges, t shirts etc. “The Mexican Luchadors borrowed a lot of their wardrobe from the superhero genre, so graduating to the world of the comic book feels like a very natural progression for me.”