Recreating bookshop mural for psychedelic tour of Brighton

Kriya Arts & Sinna One (Photograph: Jolie Booth) SUS-170419-122907001
Kriya Arts & Sinna One (Photograph: Jolie Booth) SUS-170419-122907001

A mural which graced a shop in the North Laine in the 1960s has been resurrected for this year’s Brighton Fringe, as part of a psychedelic tour of the city.

HIP returns to the Brighton Fringe this year as an immersive journey through the streets of 1960s and 1970s Brighton. As part of this journey artists Jolie Booth and Sinna One rebooted the famous Unicorn Bookshop mural on Gloucester Road.

Unicorn Bookshop old and new  (Photograph: Jolie Booth) SUS-170419-122918001

Unicorn Bookshop old and new (Photograph: Jolie Booth) SUS-170419-122918001

HIP will explore the story of Brightonian Anne Clarke, whose diaries and letters were discovered by ex-squatter Ms Booth. She said it unearthed a huge archive about the city they’ve both lived in and experiences they’ve shared.

The HIP Trip of Brighton: A Psychedelic Wander, is part theatrical experience, walking tour and pub crawl, visiting the places Anne wrote about.

Anne worked at the Unicorn Bookshop in the 1960s, a place described as a counterculture hotspot for Brighton’s hippie scene. The shop and printing press were run by the larger than life, openly gay, American proprietor Bill Butler.

It boasted the first shop front mural in the country and many have argued was the beginning of the UK’s thriving street art scene. Originally painted by psychedelic artist John Upton in 1965, his modern day counterpart, Sinna One has paid homage to Upton’s original masterpiece, but with a modern day twist.

Referring to a part unicorn/part rainbow character from the animation hit series Adventure Time, Sinna One said: “As soon as I saw the old photo of the Unicorn Bookshop I said to Jolie, that looks like Lady Rainicorn.

“Straight away I suggested we recreate the original design on the front of the shop, but with an updated version.”

There will be an opening ceremony for the mural at 50 Gloucester Road, on the site of the original Unicorn Bookshop, now Allen and Sons Quality Repairs at 6.30pm on Thursday, May 4.

To find out more, visit: kriyaarts.co.uk/#/hip-trip/