The Legacy of Punk and Post-Punk in relation to John Hyatt: ROCK ART

A conversation between John Robb (musician and author); Gavin Butt (author and cultural historian) and Fiona Jane Gregg (Parachute Men) with John Hyatt. Audience involvement encouraged.

John Hyatt’s exhibition, Rock Art, displays many of the most positive things that might be described as a legacy of Punk and Post-Punk cultural scenes. These can be summed up as a sort of irreverent, devil-may-care attitude but not by any means a lack of seriousness. His work manages to tell its most important points with a smile on its face. The DIY philosophy of punk is also evident. Here nothing is too extreme or impossible. A mix and the mash-up of disciplines, genres, materials and styles into new hybrid forms with disregard for boundaries or borders is a prominent feature in the work and in the life of the artist. He mixes an academic talk on how the brain works with the childhood joy of reading superhero comics. In this exhibition he casts off ego to wear it again like a cloak and he even, trickster-like, transgresses the borders between life and death with fluent ease. Indeed, in Club BIG, the club that has been built at the heart of the show and showcasing a wide variety of talent every Friday night, Hyatt hosts as The Ghost of John Hyatt and complains bitterly about, “being haunted by the living”.

In this discussion between John Robb and Gavin Butt and Fiona Jane Gregg with John Hyatt, the two authors who are both currently researching books on the history and legacy of Punk and Post-Punk, discuss the nature of those movements; what they mean today; and their continuing influence.