Gareth McConnell: Close Your Eyes

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Spotlit Police Battle of the Beanfield, 1985/2013
Spotlit Police Battle of the Beanfield, 1985/2013Artwork by Gareth McConnell

We present an exclusive glimpse inside a new book by photographer Gareth McConnell

Gareth McConnell is an artist with a revelatory vision. His images surge out in a whirlwind of energy, hedonism and ideas, merging ecstatic, kaleidoscopic colour with messages of protest and political intent. A new book, entitled Close Your Eyes, brings together his work in fashion and art, alongside found imagery depicting key moments in British history and the likes of the spiritual leader Osho. As Joanna Cresswell writes, “the book is an immersive experience, galvanized with a primal energy that distills the raw energy of the rave, it’s rapture and it’s ecstasy”.

As the book comes out, we present Gareth McConnell’s exclusive edit for, alongside an excerpt from an original text written for the work by Niall Griffiths.

“Don’t be a bully; that phrase contains all the dignity ever needed. So, yes, you can allow yourself to hate them, from the soles of their sober shoes to the tops of their neatly trimmed heads and every neutrally-shaded, sensibly-suited inch of them in between. They care more about a less-than-impeccably-knotted tie or a scuff on their toecap than they do about you and your dreams and your hopes and your loves and your heartbreaks and despairs. Truly, they do. You mean nothing to them. And yes they have power over you but a way of annulling that power is to live wildly and vividly and intensely at each moment and in doing so, fuck them forever. Just fuck them and all that they stand for. Rave on and on and on and on.”

Close Your Eyes by Gareth McConnell is out now, published by Self Publish Be Happy. The photographer's stunning photographic portfolio of young actresses features in the latest issue of AnOther Magazine, out now.