Wheels of Light is the latest arrival in the Four Corners Irregulars series of visual histories of modern British culture and what a groovy thing it is.
Author Kevin Foakes is a graphic designer, DJ, collector and practising light and sound designer. He traces the development of the ‘light show’ out of the avant-garde art performances of the 1960s to its place as the hip accompaniment to gigs and clubs in the 1970s. Swirling coloured oils and kaleidoscopic patterns were projected across bands and venues, while 360 degree painted ‘panorama wheels’ would slowly rotate in projectors, showing only a section of the image at any one time.
Wheels of Light brings together the images made by the key projection companies that sprung up in the UK, including Optikinetics, Pluto and Orion, and tells their story. From abstract psychedelia to alien planets, the designs for these rotating projections are a snapshot of the creativity and inventiveness of an era.
Four Corners Irregulars, 176pp, 22cm × 16cm, illustrated hardcover
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