The V&A collaborated with Po Pal, Creative Director of Pink Floyd on new exhibition ‘Their Mortal Remains’, which takes you on a journey through their career from beginning to end. The experience is brought to life with a collaboration of sound, art and visuals. It concludes with Pink Floyd’s last ever performance at Live 8, an immersive AMBEO remix of their debut single ‘Arnold Lane’, celebrating 50 years since its first release.
Through the Rabbit Hole
The psychedelic set design instantly immerses the public in an iconic 60’s experience. Journeying through an Op Art rabbit hole, the HD headphones automatically trigger, delivering hundreds of personal stereo feeds which include a mixture of a television docu-series and top Hits from the band.
Pink Floyd’s ideas behind their first album are curated with an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme. Walls are covered in hallucinogenic swirls with colourful ceiling projections, displayed are initial lyrics and books, giving an insider’s view of the very beginnings. The band were initially inspired by Children’s literature, as they pervaded in their earlier songs such as ‘Matilda Mother’, all of their songs had a real meaning behind them which led to the band’s impending success.
On display were a number of unseen artefacts, the audience are taken through a more personal ‘behind the scenes’ adventure, this brought a nostalgic feeling, as if discovering the band for the first time. Iconic clothing such as standard ‘Granny Takes A Trip’ shirts worn by Nick Mason, are displayed, covered in flowery print with oversized collar detailing, designed by Lindy Mason.
Nick Mason’s famous ‘Hokusai Wave’ drum kit, painted by Kathy Hepburn also takes main stage in the display case, with the billowing waves representing the sound they created helping to portray visuals as well as audio.
The band successfully grafted music, theatre and performance as they often hid behind the electric staging. The exhibition gives you a rare glimpse of the band’s working methods, as it encapsulates several large representations of their stage production including inflatables and rafts. The audio docu-series reveals; how the shows and structures were made, the challenges faced and reveals ‘The Division Bell’ was only 31 shows long due to the scale of production.
One of the most impressive sculptures is the over 6 meter high ‘Metallic Head’s’, from the album cover of 1994’s ‘The Division Bell’. This took 161 crew members and over 300 speakers for quadrophonic sound when shooting. This is another example of how Pink Floyd went above and beyond, not only setting trends, but creating a completely new perception.
The audio docu-series reveals; how the shows and structures were made, the challenges faced and how ‘The Division Bell’ tour was only 31 shows long due to the scale of production. They not only changed music, but changed the world. This showcase was an experience of the Pink Floyd legacy.
The exhibition is open from the 13th May til 1st October 2017. Tickets are on sale here.