Brixton Riot '81 - drawing; ink drawing (coloured inks)

This powerful drawing is an account of the rioting in Brixton over the weekend of 11-13 April 1981. Mike Hawthorne was in Brixton on the Saturday night and began work on a series of drawings as soon as he got home. This drawing, completed in 1987, is based on his original 1981 sketches. The Brixton Riot, also known as the Brixton Uprising, was one of 20th-century London's worst outbreaks of disorder. Provoked by an overbearing policing strategy, it marked a complete breakdown in the relationship between the police and the local community. Hawthorn's view captures the anger on both sides. A self-taught artist, Hawthorne has been drawing and painting since childhood. The first nine years of his life were spent in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Hawthorne describes his early influences as MAD magazines, illustrations of the American Civil War and television newsreels of Biafra and Vietnam. His paintings also draw on European medieval traditions of depicting heaven and hell. Since 1975 Hawthorne has worked in London, creating rock, reggae and jazz visuals and underground 'comix'.
Production Date:
ID no:
Object Size:
55.8 x 76.0 cm.
Hawthorne, Mike
© Digital image Museum of London

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