The Victoria & Albert Museum takes us for a trip in the long story of Pink Floyd, chronologically ordered from the early days – their first album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was released in 1967 – to The Endless River, released in 2014. The exhibition was first imagined by Storm Thorgerson, who worked on many of Pink Floyd’s album covers. After his death in 2013 the project was continued by Aubrey Powell, the group’s creative director.
The focus of the exhibition is not so much on the evolution of their musical style itself, but more on the impressive work that has been done by the artists who worked with the iconic band during their 50-year career. This includes Thorgerson and Powell themselves, who are the main architects of Pink Floyd’s stunning graphic identity, as well as Mark Fisher, Gerald Scarfe and others.
The narrative of the exhibition plays down the group’s inner politics, but features in-depth interviews of them and their closest collaborators. An especially large collection of instruments belonging to Gilmour, Mason, Wright or Waters are displayed. Headphones are also provided at the entrance, which will play the right song or recording as you walk through the rooms, creating a very unique atmosphere.
Some of the best pieces are also the most massive ones. Specifically are exposed several inflatables used during the tours of Animals or The Wall, a replica of Battersea Power Station and the two head statues of The Division Bell. The exhibition ends in a room illuminated by film projection synced with music blasted from loud speakers.
Powell wanted to make the exhibition a truly immersive experience and he undoubtedly succeeded. Despite the price of the ticket this exposition is a delight for any fan of Pink Floyd and certainly of interest for anyone who appreciates this music or the art style that formed group’s iconic visual identity.
When can I go? Until October 15.
How long does it take? About two hours to fully appreciate the exhibition.
What’s the price? From £25 to £30.