Wolverhampton Art Gallery: You Should Be Living

Capsule explored the impact Heavy Metal has had on visual art with ‘You Should Be Living: The Visual Language of Heavy Metal’. Inviting international artists and commissioning a dynamic new piece of work by Napalm Death founder Nicholas Bullen and French artist Damien Deroubaix, Capsule highlighted the impact of Heavy Metal motifs on contemporary visual culture.

At least 75 artists were engaged in the delivery of the events and activities of Home of Metal that were employed for a minimum of 183 days.

While the Home of Metal project explored the relationship between fans and music, this exhibition further investigated the relationship by examining the work of artists inspired by Heavy Metal. Work on display illustrated the visual impact of Heavy Metal and explored the motifs and myths of the music.

The featured artists, including Matius Faldbakken, Ben Venom, Harminder Judge and Amy Sarkisian, used typography, vintage t-shirts, sculpture and sound to explore the varying aesthetic features of Heavy Metal and its relationship to contemporary art. The artists both national and international took inspiration from the genre, whilst exploring notions of fantasy, chaos, performnace and musical evolution.

‘You Should Be Living’ references the title track from the debut Napalm Death record ‘Scum’ and, thirty years after the formation of the band, a special collaborative piece was commissioned for this exhibition. French artist and Grindcore fanatic Damien Deroubaix and Napalm Death founder Nicholas Bullen presented their sculptural construction containing text and abstractions, embedded video monitors, audio cables and microphones, referencing the work of both artists and the ‘Scum’ album.

Supported by Arts Council England, Renaissance West Midlands, MLA, Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage.