Unforgettable images of 1966 in pop and protest

Graham Keen's historic photography on show at Lucy Bell gallery SUS-160108-130747001
Graham Keen's historic photography on show at Lucy Bell gallery SUS-160108-130747001

Rare and unseen photographs of pop and protest will be on show at the Lucy Bell Gallery in Norman Road, St Leonards, from September 3 - October 22.

This exhibition celebrates the photographic career of Graham Keen, now 79, as well as the 50th anniversary of a year in British history when London was at the epicentre of cultural happenings in arts, music and counterculture. Time Magazine celebrated this in its April 1966 issue cover story, creating the legend of Swinging London.

Keen, who lives in Battle, obtained access to the leading 1960s pop programmes and his subjects included Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Move and Pink Floyd. He was present at many key cultural and artistic happenings documenting these to create what has become a fascinating record of the times.

Significantly Keen was involved with the revolutionary counter culture newspaper International Times (IT), which was published for the first time in 1966.

He contributed photographs and was later to be art director for issues 40-70. When the magazine was raided by police, Keen and three other directors were sent for trial, and found guilty of Conspiracy To Corrupt Public Morals. Keen went on to found Cyclops Magazine.

One series of photographs that Keen took was the documentation of the first London exhibition of artist Yoko Ono, in November 1966. Working for Peace News for most of 1960s, Keen covered the CND and CCND marches and Anti-Vietnam War protests. He also went to Cambodia with Peace News group aiming to visit North Vietnam in a gesture of solidarity. Other faces of pop and protest he captured include Marc Bolan, together with Joan Baez and Vanessa Redgrave, Julie Felix, Paul Jones and Diana Rigg.

He has also photographed Allen Ginsberg, the writer William Burroughs, Francis Bacon, as well as Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and the Basie Band.

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