north east scotland's festival of new music

John Redhead

From the age of fourteen, John, born in Yorkshire from Jewish Gypsy origin exhibited and sold his paintings. From self taught artist he became professional and exhibited prolifically through London and the provincial galleries.

In the mountains of North Wales he was an activist and pioneer on rock and his routes are a legacy in British climbing. He led the first ascents of Britain's first grade E7, The Bells, The Bells, and the first grade of E8, Margins of the Mind. A BBC documentary 'E9 6c' and Anglia TV documentary, 'Clown Ascending' offer insight into his approach.

His multimedia exhibitions, 'Shaft of the Dead Man' and 'Music of Decline' attempted to portray the sacrificial aspect to movement on rock.

Whilst sponsored by the Arts Council to study Anazazi rock art and sacred sites in Arizona and New Mexico, he became more aware of the rituals and ceremonial aspect behind image making. His separation from the gallery environment had begun.

Whilst in his Liverpool warehouse studio he completed a series of site specific paintings that were exhibited in a ceremonial circle outdoors under the title, 'Serious Clowning'. This interactive and controversial performance with an unsuspecting audience confronted a consumer complacent society with the issues of the day.

His ascent of Norwich and Liverpool cathedrals as part of an arts performance with his huge canvasses were documented and filmed.

John's first limited edition book, '…and one for the crow' of words and images of ascent, achieved cult status and was the first 'outdoors' book to be banned in many shops. His sonic exploration of Liverpool streets and heroin addiction, 'Hero Gone bent' follows from his extensive research and recorded transcripts of street prostitution.

His second publication was a multimedia investigation into the energy left at Dinorwic Quarry, North Wales. His sound sculpture, Soft Explosive Hard Embrace, is a claim for the sacred land and accompanied the words and images. His film of the same name has featured at mountain film festivals worldwide.

For ten years John has developed his sonic compositions and performance, 'Talking House Soundscapes' and 'Orchestration of the Senses' and continues to paint huge canvasses from his studio in the mountains of the Pyrenees Orientales, where he now works. He will be performing his new project, 'Dead Room Chiseller', tracks of sonic mourning at various venues in Calalunya Nord.

His current work 'Remains of Occitania' follows his forensic approach to human occupation of space and returns John to a gallery exhibition.

His third book, 'Colonist's Out', a search for the meaning of home, is due for publication shortly.

Remains 1 (from sounds recorded at Montsegur, France - the last stronghold of the cathars)
audio clip included with kind permission
licenced by the MCPS-PRS Alliance for playback on

events in 2010 with John Redhead
  Date Day Time Location Event Details
Please check back for updates.
29Fri 6.00 pmTarlandJohn Redhead Remains of Occitania