An image of Legalise cannabis: the putting together of the heads

Martin Sharp

(Australia 21 Jan 1942 – 01 Dec 2013)

Legalise cannabis: the putting together of the heads

Other titles:
The Putting Together Of The Heads, The Gathering of the Heads, Cannabis - The Putting Together of Heads, Gathering of the Tribes
Location
Not on display
Further information

A major figure of Australian pop art during the 1960s and 70s, Martin Sharp is renowned for his cartoons, collages, paintings and designs for posters and album covers epitomising pop's rejection of tradition and its love of colour, figuration and irony.

Sharp is internationally recognised for the originality and impact of the psychedelic images he created whilst living in London during the 1960s, when he was working as art director of the underground magazine Oz with Richard Neville and others. Oz epitomised the anti-establishment era of the 1960s with its irreverent, satirical and often controversial take on topics as diverse as police brutality, censorship, homosexuality and abortion.

During his time in London, Sharp established a strong reputation as a graphic artist, designing psychedelic posters and album covers for musicians and bands including Bob Dylan and Cream. His poster designs in the so called 'decadent' graphic style inspired Oz magazine associate Peter Ledeboer to set up Big O Posters in September 1967, to produce, promote and distribute all his work in this sphere and a number of these images (including 'Jimi Hendrix') are regarded as icons of the era.

This poster was made to advertise a rally in Hyde Park, London - one of a number held at the time to campaign for the legalisation of cannabis and to protest against the tightening of anti-drug legislation. Sharp's design incorporates images from 19th ethonographic engravings of South American Indians to create an image of the exotic. The poster was not ultimately seen on the streets of London, as the billposter employed to put it up, sold all of the stock instead.

Place of origin
London, England
Year
1967
Media
Print
Medium
screenprint, printed in black and orange ink from two stencils, on gold foil laminated paper
Dimensions
73.4 x 48.2 cm image; 76.0 x 50.7 cm sheet
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2014
Accession number
23.2014
Copyright
© Estate of Martin Sharp. Licensed by Copyright Agency