Music Makers Julie Bennett and Gerald O’Dowd: Exploring the interplay of art and music

Hackney Picturehouse The Gallery, 2nd Floor, 270 Mare St, London E8 1HE

Exhibition: 2-29 April 2019, 11am-10pm   
Private View: Thursday 4 April 6-9.30pm  
Closing Party: Monday 29 April 6-9.30pm

Hackney Picturehouse is delighted to present the first joint exhibition of artists Julie Bennett and Gerald O’Dowd.

What influence has music had on you? Most people can name at least one musician that has had a strong impact on their lives. Who would you choose?

This exhibition of new work by visual artists Bennett and O’Dowd explores their connection with their musical icons. Listening to music has had a profound and ongoing influence on both of their practices and on them personally. However, it is the stories of the icons behind the sounds - their lives, fame, and art - that inspires the most. Drawing from very different experiences, the artists present work influenced by subjects who, in addition to creating music, have expressed their creativity in visual form.

Crossing over five decades of music, this series includes Patti Smith, Florence Welch, John Lennon, Bob Marley, Boy George, David Bowie, Courtney Love, Yoko Ono and others.

Julie Bennett is driven by her lifelong obsession with music, spending her teenage years working at a record shop and after graduation, working as a graphic designer at some of the top UK music and celebrity magazines. Her bold, unapologetically confident portraits celebrate both the unknown and the famous through the immediacy of her paint handling. Dripping wet, broad-brush marks give an appearance of works that are fresh out of the studio.

Gerald O’Dowd spent his childhood surrounded by music, everything from Irish rebel songs to David Bowie, blues and reggae. Stating Bob Marley as his first musical interest, O’Dowd studied Fine Art at the University of East London. He uses his art practice as ongoing therapy following an acute bout of mental illness in the 90s. He creates emotionally charged works using film, sculpture, painting, poetry, and song to convey his belief in the power of love and unity.

A Spotify playlist has been specially created for the exhibition.

Limited edition prints are available here.


Oil on canvas
101.5 x 101.5 cm


John Lennon: Working Class Hero
Acrylic, aerosol spray paint, polystyrene, adhesive on canvas
86 x 71 cm