New Harrogate exhibition of work by The Specials' bassist

Record Town by artist Horace Panter.
Record Town by artist Horace Panter.

US visits by classic British band The Specials have inspired a new exhibition in one of Harrogate’s coolest galleries.

Americana at RedHouse Originals gallery will feature a series of recent paintings by the band’s bass player Horace Panter, who has built an additional career as a successful artist.

Power Lines IV by artist Horace Panter.

Power Lines IV by artist Horace Panter.

Horace said: “The Americana series explores the myth of America for me. I’m English and the flamboyant signage and brightly coloured buildings are like the jewels.”

Anyone who saw his previous collection in Harrogate will know he’s a master of Pop Art-influenced images of the signage and roadside gas stations of the American West Coast.

Born in Croydon in 1953, Horace Panter graduated with a degree in Fine Art from Coventry’s Lanchester Polytechnic in 1975. It was there that he met Jerry Dammers and together they formed The Specials, a band that went on to become one of the most defining British bands of the 1980s.

Panter’s new Harrogate exhibition at the gallery on Cheltenham Mount includes three previously unseen Power Lines paintings that will be exhibited for the first time anywhere.

Panter himself says he finds the real-life iconography of the West Coast irresistible on his US trips with the band.

He said: “Over the past few years I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Los Angeles and these power lines are everywhere.

"They’re part of the urban landscape and are taken for granted. For me, they are quintessential LA. The ones I have painted I photographed on Sunset Boulevard, they’re all the same but different. And yes, the sky really is that colour.”

Horace Panter’s Americana exhibition will be on display until March 3.