Gee Vaucher was the visual artist for the anarcho-pacifist punk band Crass. Her super-realist collage paintings which featured on the band’s record covers and liner notes communicate an almost hysteria-provoking aura of dread. Imagery from the Nazi holocaust, victims of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Vietnam war attrocities appear in apocalyptic urban landscapes populated by grinning Thatchers, Reagans, Brezhnevs, oil sheiks, the British Royal Family and mushroom clouds.
In the early 1980s Crass albums were regularly selling 100,000 and the collective was as much a counter culture (pre-internet) information machine as a “rock” band. Liner notes and pamphlets available at gigs were about pacifism, feminism, nuclear disarmament, the war in Northern Ireland, US involvement in Nicaragua, The Falklands war, globalism (then known as Late Capitalism), animal rights, anti-consumerism, and growing your own vegetables and allotmenting.
As a schoolboy coming into contact with the extremity of Gee’s imagery and Crass’s music, and trying to understand what these people were talking about was both scary and transformative.
Vaucher was also responsible for creating and projecting many of the background films that played at Crass concerts which were often collaged from material that had been filmed directly from a tv screen…