‘Nevermind’ – re-created…

‘Nevermind’ – re-created…

Two weeks before Christmas we were shopping, trudging our way up the high street; or should that be bland street?

They all look the same these days ”“ it was hell; hoards of people bouncing off of each other, wading through the litter from multi-national fast food giants, arms laden with tat soon to be transferred into unwanted gifts ”“ all sorts of shysters blocking the pavements flogging bleach disguised as Gucci and all to the accompaniment of an audio battle between The Salvation Army and chart crap blasted out from ”Ëœcutting edge’ fashion retailers.

Just as I reached cracking point my eye was drawn to a large reproduction image of the iconic Clash first album starring from the window of an art gallery. We investigated further and moments later entered the quiet tranquillity of the gallery ”“ the image we saw was in fact a mosaic created by Ed Chapman;

‘Nevermind’ – re-created…

It was brilliant!! Weird that such a place of tranquillity was displaying a representation of the front cover of one of the loudest, most vociferous and angry recordings ever captured”¦

Over subsequent weeks we researched Ed Chapman, looked longingly at his other works ”“ then we contacted Ed, discussed our idea, took his advice, then without any real reason we commissioned him to produce a mosaic…

‘Nevermind’ – re-created…

In January 1992 Nirvana’s seminal ‘ Nevermind’replaced Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ at the top of the US Billboard charts, the album recorded for just $65,000 went onto sell in excess of 30 million copies – so 20 years later it seemed apt that the design Ed was commissioned to create was the front cover of that very album.

This is the story of ”ËœNevermind re-created’ ”“ Over a period of weeks we will bring to you the process of how Ed Chapman lovingly creates his mosaics, we will include pictures as they are supplied to us so you can all follow the process”¦ But first some information about Ed Chapman.

As a student listening in his bedroom to the distinctive screams of Kurt Cobain, Ed Chapman longed to create an artistic tribute to one of his musical heroes.

Despite having never having been near art college, Ed soon discovered a talent for producing amazingly accurate but unusual portraits made from torn pieces of paper.

His first creation was a paper collage of Cobain, which the artist made in his spare time. Now, after years of experimenting with different media, he has been commissioned to create a ceramic tile version of Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind’s cover.

Ed became a full-time artist more than a decade ago and has exhibited work around the world. He is best known for creating ceramic portraits of a range of icons, including stars from music and film and some of them grace the homes of celebrities, foreign royalty and sports personalities.

A charity commissioned him to make a portrait of music legend Jimi Hendrix using thousands of guitar plectrums donated by Fender and later at sale the work raised £23,000 for Cancer Research UK.

‘Nevermind’ – re-created…

Ed has been inspired by his own music taste over the years and has often focussed on his musical heroes. He has created works of The Clash, Paul Weller, Buzzcocks and Sex Pistols.

He said: “I started in art with a portrait of Kurt Cobain because I was into listening Nirvana all the time in those days. I was at Bolton Institute (though not at the same time as Buzzcocks‘ Pete Shelley) studying history. It worked out really well, but it was quite some time after making that piece that I decided to go professional.

“I still like Nirvana’s music of course and have since created two other tile portraits, but I don’t like to do too many of the same subject. I am excited to be starting work on the Nevermind album cover because it is such a striking image and it involves using lots of shades of blue, which is probably my favourite colour.

“I probably sound a bit of an anorak, but I love going into the tile shop once I know what picture I am doing. It is so interesting looking at the massive palette of colours.”

Once the tiles have been ordered, Ed sets to drawing out the work on wooden board and then the smashing begins. Each ceramic work contains hundreds of pieces of tile which Ed hand-cuts and sticks precisely in place. He spends hours ensuring each piece is just right and when the picture is complete, he grouts the work.

He added: “If somebody commissions a piece of work, I always discuss what they want before I go ahead. Though, I will advise them against certain things, such as colour, if I don’t think the picture will look right when it’s finished.

So far Ed has supplied just the below image…

‘Nevermind’ – re-created…

“Then I just set to work and I will usually update them when it will be ready, which sometimes could take several weeks. It is quite a solitary job, so I often listen to music while I’m working. At the moment, I’m enjoying listening to Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie on BBC6 Music in the afternoon, Marc Riley later. They usually play a lot of punk and indie stuff as well as new music, which I enjoy.”

For more information about Ed Chapman, visit his website

Further updates to follow…

Previous articleThe Specials, Blur and New Order London Olympics gig
Next articleJoey Ramone demos album to be released
Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


  1. […] Artist Ed Chapman is not far off finishing a commissioned mosaic, we have been following on his progress (Pt 1) […]

  2. […] finished the commissioned ‘Nevermind’ mosaic, we have been following on his progress (Pt 1), (Pt 2) as he painstaking recreates the iconic sleeve design in ceramic […]

  3. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

  4. Hello there, I discovered your web site by means of Google even as looking for a related topic, your web site came up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  5. I haven¡¦t checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  6. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  7. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours as of late, but I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It is lovely value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the web might be much more helpful than ever before. “I think that maybe if women and children were in charge we would get somewhere.” by James Grover Thurber.

  8. I¡¦ve read some good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you put to make this kind of great informative website.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here