Set against a backdrop of social distancing and a divisive political climate, Another Summer of Love is a new series of works by hand-lettering artist Oli Frape, celebrating unity, positivity and openness using bold colours and optimistic language from summers past.
Featuring original paintings on canvas or recycled cardboard alongside two new limited-edition Riso prints, the collection has something of a show theme, with hints of cabaret, music festivals and theatre. "It's probably not that hard to imagine that during a time of restricted movement and decreased freedom we would be fantasising about dancing in sweaty festival tents full of smiling strangers, and that's certainly been the case for me," OIi tells Creative Boom.
"Thinking about this collection of works was actually already in progress before the lockdown. I was starting to feel a craving for a sense of unity and closeness that seems lacking in society lately," he adds.
Oli has long been interested in previous Summers of Love, mainly for their visual culture. "We all collected rave flyers when I was 14, and my career in lettering was surely inspired, in part, by those famous Wes Wilson or Mouse and Kelly psychedelic band posters from the 1960s," Oli continues. "But alongside the visuals, those movements were also full of humanity and people coming together and that feels resonant to me right now."
This new series of works revives some of that language: of love and positivity and collective experience to create a bold and colourful swell of goodwill. "This may not be the third summer of love, but if ever there was a time we needed one, it's now," he says.
Another Summer of Love will go on display for Oli Frape's debut solo exhibition, opening 28 August at the Forum Arcade in Sheffield. Part of a new gallery project Artcade by Sidney and Matilda, it'll be open to the public each Saturday throughout September. Weekday viewings will be open to all, but by appointment only. Contact Liah Edwardes to find out more.