Never Mind the Badges – An Exciting New Exhibition of badge culture at Watergate Street Gallery, Chester
Never Mind the Badges
 – An Exciting New Exhibition at Watergate Street Gallery, Chester
Never Mind the Badges – An Exciting New Exhibition of badge culture at Watergate Street Gallery, Chester
Watergate Street Gallery in Chester will be taking visitors on an inspiring visual journey of nostalgia in an exciting new exhibition. Appealing to pop-culture enthusiasts and music fans alike, Never Mind the Badges celebrates past music eras in the form of large-scale, vintage badge recreations from the 1960s through to the 1990s.
Tony Dennis, aka Tape Deck Art, will be showcasing more than 60 of these vibrant, music-inspired, giant badges in his first solo show from Friday 25th June until Sunday 11th July 2021.
Tony is a British, contemporary artist with a passion for music and design, who started his art career painting giant tickets of gigs and sporting events from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. On the back of this success, he decided to create pieces of artwork that would reflect his passion for collecting vintage punk badges from the mid to late 1970’s. The result was a series of large, eye-catchingly tactile and unique 3D pin badges based on designs he had in his collection.
After nearly nine months of research and after fabricating countless prototypes, Tony created his first badge in early 2017 – a painting of The Sex PistolsGod Save the Queen. Since then, he has produced collections of badges which have been sold throughout the UK and United States.

Tony commented:

“I’m thrilled to be showcasing my music-inspired, giant 3D pin badges for the first time at Watergate Street Gallery. Nostalgia was always a big part of my badge collecting. I think, for most people, collecting is a form of escapism from the stresses of every day life and also pride of ownership. My pin badges have a vintage look and I wanted each of them to have their own character. My goal was to create an over-sized pin badge that someone has just rediscovered from their youth.”

There will be an opportunity to ‘meet the artist’ at The Cavern in Watergate Street Gallery on Friday 25th June 6-9pm (private view/launch) and Saturday 26th June 11am-3pm. The exhibition will run until Sunday 11th July 2021Please book here for free tickets (numbers are strictly limited):

Never Mind the Badges is a free exhibition. Watergate Street Gallery is a Covid-secure venue and is open 7 days a week: 60 Watergate Street, Chester CH1 2LA

In 2015 Tony started his art career painting giant tickets for gigs and sporting events from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. In his first year he was commissioned to paint concert tickets from gigs by The Clash, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, U2, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Queen and David Bowie. He offers a unique service to recreate and paint favourite/memorable ticket stubs as a giant piece of art.

All Tony Dennis’s badge designs are taken from actual pins from the 1970’s to the 1980’s with a heavy influence on the punk scene, painting a number of badges from designs manufactured by Better Badges from the years 1976-84.
Tony has also worked with French graffiti artist Invader and produced 10 giant pin badges using the artists designs for his month long LA exhibition Into the White Cube.
Since 2018 Tony has worked with Hard Rock Hotel chain and more recently in November 2020 released 20 oversized The Prodigy badges after the band contacted him. All badges sold out within minutes of going on sale.
Tony has sold other artwork using cassette tapes and their inlays over the past 12 months.
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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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