Dudley Edwards: Pop art visionary

Tonight (October 29) sees the opening of an exciting exhibition celebrating the work of pop art visionary Dudley Edwards.


A Journey Into Vision & Sound at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios investigates Edwards’ portfolio in the 60s, including his membership of groundbreaking design team Binder Edwards & Vaughan.


//Dandie Fashions, 161 King’s Road, Chelsea, 1967// 

BEV’s psychedelic murals adorned boutiques such as Dandie Fashions in the King’s Road and Lord John in Carnaby Street.


//Carnaby Street postcard, Lord John left, 1967// 

Outside of the BEV umbrella and under the guise of “OM Tentacle” (in conjunction with Mike McInnerney), Edwards was also responsible for the swooping serpent which formed the frontage of infamous Chelsea hangout, the Dragon Cafe.


The Dandie Fashions’ commission is significant; the shop exterior was decorated in lavish style for owner Tara Browne and manager John Crittle.

Just a few weeks back Big Biba designer Steve Thomas told THE LOOK that, as a student at nearby Chelsea College of Art, he was drafted in to paint the straight lines (as Edwards points out, the BEV team were more than capable of completing their own straight lines but the scale of the job required assistance from a number of students).

Edwards has related that when the team worked through the night they were often visited by intrigued local Eduardo Paolozzi.

Browne was on his way to view progress on the exterior when he died in a car crash in December 1966. This of course became one of the inspirations for the narrative of the Sgt Pepper track A Day In The Life.


//Left: BEV Cobra and Buick. Right: Poster for The Million Volt Light And Sound Rave// 

BEV also decorated interiors for Lord Snowdon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with a stunning array of furniture and cars. In fact it was Edwards who painted McCartney’s piano; he lived with the Beatle for six months. “I wrote Getting Better on my magic Binder Edwards & Vaughan piano,” said McCartney recently. “Of course the way in which it was painted added to the fun of it all.”

This association led to McCartney contributing The Beatles’ experimental and still unreleased electronic track Carnival Of Light to BEV’s multi-media extravaganza The Million Volt Light And Sound Rave at London’s The Roundhouse on January 28, 1967.  


//Left: BEV with Tara Browne (back centre) 1966. Photo: musicpictures.com. Right: Dudley Edwards painting Paul McCartney’s piano 1967//

The Cobra is featured in this 1966 Pathe newsreel about BEV’s work shot at Robert Fraser‘s gallery at 69 Duke Street, Mayfair; that’s Browne sitting proudly in the car as it is hauled through the gallery window.

These days Doug Binder is curator at art centre Dean Clough in Halifax while David Vaughan (who was actress Sadie Frost’s father) died aged 58 in 2003.   

Dudley Edwards operates design company Amazed Ltd with his wife Madeleine, creating fabulous rugs and wall hangings for a variety of clients, from Tori Amos to Hugh Grant. 

Edwards will be at tonight’s opening event at Parr Street Studios which includes a DJ set from Will Sergeant of Echo & The Bunnymen.

Invites are RSVP only; the exhibition is on until November 30.

JD said,

November 13, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

Hey, hey, Paulman, the Dragon Cafe is not BEV, it’s Mike McInnerney.

rockpopfashion said,

November 14, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

Hi Jeff
It does say here that this was done as OM Tentacle with MM – how did you go the other night? Shame I had to leave before your set. Looked jumping.

Mike Fincher said,

March 2, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

I really admire Dudley Edwards and his truly incredible images, Dud was my art teacher at Stafford College of Art in the early seventies, ask him about the pigs head he made us all (his students draw). I moved to Australia and I lost contact with him mid seventies but his efforts were not entirely in vain as I am still drawing and painting myself. Love to get contact with you Dud, best regards Mike Fincher

rockpopfashion said,

March 3, 2012 @ 7:24 am

Hi Mike
Will pass your contact details along to Dudley.

[…] On the left is Warren Gold’s fashion emporium Lord John, which was decorated in early psychedelic style by art squad Binder Edwards & Vaughan – read more about the design antics of Dudley Edwards and his colleagues Doug Binder and David Vaughan here. […]

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