John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins
It was with great sadness that I heard that our friend and supporter John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins had died. While he had clearly been frail for some considerable time, his relationship with the studio went back to mid 1970’s when he and Sue Hall ran the video project Fantasy Factory. More recently Hoppy participated in several of our exhibitions (Agitpop, Taking Issue and Groove Grove Graphics).
‘Taking Issue’ began with the idea that in the second half of the 20th century, two technologies dominated the political and cultural landscape of the Industrial West. One threatened Armageddon, the other brought voices and sensibilities of diverse cultures together. Hoppy’s images of protest and the explosion of pop culture in the 1960’s came to define this pivotal moment in British history.
As both a journalist and a protagonist in the developing counter culture, Hoppy was perfectly placed to document the energy and antagonisms of a time when pop and politics came together to redefine the cultural landscape. Whether depicting performance or political action his photographs have an immediacy and intimacy which confer on his subjects a certain humanity – and at the same time the viewer is left with no doubt as to their significance and broader historical impact.
Image: photograph by John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins – John Lennon at rehearsal for a TV show Teddington Studios, London 1964