Wheels of Light: Designs for British Light Shows 1970 1990
Emerging from avant-garde art performances of the 1960s, light shows became 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.
Kevin Foakes is a graphic designer, DJ and collector who also creates immersive light and sound environments with Pete Williams under the moniker Further.
Wheels of Light is part of the Four Corners Irregulars, a series of visual histories of modern British culture.
Wheels of Light: Designs for British Light Shows 1970-1990
by Kevin Foakes
Four Corners Irregulars #9
Hardback, 176 pages, 22 × 16 cm
Published: 21 October 2022