Exploring the art of design within music

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A NEW exhibition at Woodhorn raises some interesting questions about an art form that many will have taken for granted.

Exploring the relationship between the world of music and art and design, Revolutions: from Gatefold to Download charts the history of album cover artwork from its early days in the 1930s through to the present.

It examines how cover design has influenced and been influenced by popular culture, and how it has responded to technological developments and change.

Cover artworks that became era-defining images of popular culture and forged the reputations of some of the leading lights of the art and design world, are featured in the exhibition.

Created by designer Patrick Murphy, Revolutions brings together more than 100 LP sleeves from across the 20th and 21st centuries, arranged decade by decade with key designers from each explored in detail.

Some of the albums covers featured include Malcolm Garrett/Assorted Images, with the designs for the Buzzcocks and Duran Duran, Peter Saville Associates, for Joy Division and New Order, The Designers Republic with their designs for Age of Chance and Pulp, Airside for Lemon Jelly and Mika, Traffic Design/ Julian Opie for Blur and Oscar and Ewans work for Roots Manuva, including the original bust from the Slime and Reason cover, innovative packaging examples from record labels Staalplaat & Korm plastics and Hans Seegar fold out covers for Pulseprogramming.

An exclusive film featuring leading designers and studios talking about their work is also part of the exhibition with contributions from Malcolm Garrett, 8vo, Stylorouge, Central Station, Intro, Oscar & Ewan and Wallzo.

It also raises questions about the future within a music industry coming to terms with a digital age and it highlights the effects that MTV, the internet, mp3 players and music downloads have had on this art form.

Revolutions runs until October 9.

Visit www.experiencewoodhorn.com for more information.