Supersonic has invited six artists to create illustrations in response to this year’s theme of ‘Spectacle’. The term was borrowed from the Roman practice of staging circuses, in the famous “Bread and Circuses” philosophy of the Roman elite to maintain civil order without solving underlying social and economic problems.
Like the festival itself, ‘Spectacle’ operates in two contexts simultaneously. On the one hand, it refers to high culture performances where the draw for an audience is the impressive visual accomplishment. On the other hand, it refers to low cultural shows operating in a folk environment.
Making a spectacle of themselves then are former skateboard shop owner Chris Bourke, the ‘Organic Disturbances’ of Craig Earp, Harriet ‘Alana’ Shephard‘s pen and ink illustrations, Jake Blanchard, the gouache-based vibrancy of Sophia Alda and Thomas J Hughes‘ garish horror-influenced illustrations.