As seen in issue 230 of 100% Biker
After last year’s cool revolution show in Hastings where there was a great mix of bikes, art and cool stuff in a crazy venue I had a good feeling about this year’s show. Held in the rather cool Baker Mamonova Gallery which normally displays Russian art and other exhibitions in St Leonards and London it was immediately obvious that the bike element of the show was a lot small due to venue size. But bikes are not the whole reason for the show with it being advertised as an exhibition that brings together a unique collection of works from artists, designers and crafts persons who are inspired and influenced by the motorcycling counter cultural scene.
It was also billed to challenge the ‘greasy biker’ perception of motorcycling through a unique collection of conceptual design and contemporary art, celebrating the skills and craftsmanship of artists and engineers inspired by the motorcycle. to help draw in non motorcyclists and it was true as there were obviously a few normal punters there.
Even though there were less bikes those on show were still of a great quality and an eclectic mix, from 70’s style choppers to bikes raced at Bonneville speed trials and Dirtquake. There were also some cool films being shown and it was nice to be able to watch the film of Barons speed shop visit to Bonneville and then see the actual bike. The cinema area also had some cool bikes, it was a shame it was too dark to really study them especially the cool Egli Vincent.
Whether this type of event starts to challenge the greasy biker idea I do not know as from a personal perspective I am noting a lot of younger motorcyclists totally embracing the style nowadays and certainly a lot more 70’s inspired chops.
It was great to meet Martin Squires who is a sketch artist with neat pen work and well known for his Sketchbook Travels who was busy drawing the bikes there. I always find there is far more to his pictures than first meets the eye.
With the other bits of art around the hall and a neat coffee shop it was a very relaxed event and that can only be a good thing as we all seem to dash about so much. As ever there were some cool bikes up and down the street outside as also ride in and outs had been planned and I would happily have ridden off on a few.
I did hear some people grumble about the entrance price and the amount of bikes but it was never meant to be just a bike show and it makes you wonder what people wanted. The current bike scene in the UK is as diverse as can be and it will always be evolving and having an open mind to all helps co pollination of ideas.
Overall I really enjoyed it and I really hope it continues to grow its great to have people like revolt motorcycles who will put on these events they are already looking to next years show and arranging something a bit different again.