Cut Copy: Brisbane Music Posters 1977-87

State Library of Queensland

Immerse yourself in Brisbane's subversive youth culture of the 70's and 80's at State Library of Queensland's free online and onsite exhibition Cut Copy: Brisbane music posters 1977–87.

The fascinating exhibition uncovers rare handmade music posters and handbills that promoted the small, often underground, independent music scene of the time.

Cut Copy, State Library of Queensland

Bands featured in the exhibition’s posters and handbills include: The Saints, The Riptides, The GoBetweens, The Leftovers, The Upsets, Razar and The Black Assassins.

For teenagers living in Brisbane at the time, organising or attending live music events could be a difficult and sometimes dangerous proposition with authorities placing restrictions on live music venues and band activities.

In bedrooms and cheap rehearsal spaces, disaffected teenagers plugged in cheap or hand-me-down amps, tuned their guitars and cranked up the volume. Along with this DIY attitude towards music-making came a similar approach to music promotion.

Cut Copy, State Library of Queensland

Money was often scarce, so poster production involved hand-cut stencils, line drawing, hand-lettering and late-night kitchen table screen-printing sessions.

These techniques embodied the determination of Brisbane’s young people to pursue creative lives within the conservative social and political landscape of the time.

Cut Copy, State Library of Queensland

 Quotes from State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald: 

“Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the era’s DIY design and the bands and venues of Brisbane’s independent music scene at a pivotal moment in the city’s history.

“The exhibition explores how the city’s conservative climate sparked a rebellious youth culture grounded in DIY creativity and underground music.”

Need to know - As well as an immersive onsite exhibition at State Library in South Bank, the exhibition can be enjoyed online. The digital exhibition features a range of exciting collection items, blog posts and videos.

State Library of Queensland is a valued partner of Must Do

SLQ Gallery, Level 2

State Library of Queensland

Stanley Place 

South Brisbane

Sep 28-May 9, 2021

Daily 10am-5pm

View online



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