Artist Goldie is inspiration for Martin’s gallery display

When Goldie was just a teenager the multi-talented artist was best known for his graffiti work, which covered walls in Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

Martin Jones, of Sedgley, with his Zulu Dawn exhibition
Martin Jones, of Sedgley, with his Zulu Dawn exhibition

Now his early work has been captured in a photo exhibition, which is on display at The Public in West Bromwich and has been organised by Goldie’s former agent Martin Jones.

Martin, who lives in Sedgley, first met Goldie in 1984 when the teenager joined the Wolverhampton B-Boys hip hop breakdancing group.

The father-of-two’s photographic exhibition, called Zulu Dawn, looks at the early years of hip hop and is on at the art gallery until May 6.

‘Chinatown’ by The Supreme Graffiti Team, including Goldie
‘Chinatown’ by The Supreme Graffiti Team, including Goldie

Martin, 59, said: “The exhibition follows the formation of the first breakdance crews and looks at how some of the early artists and dancers achieved fame on TV and as recording artists.

“Images featured in the exhibition include photographs of Goldie as a 19-year-old breakdancer and graffiti artist, travelling to New York to meet his heroes in the South Bronx, and dancing in Central Park.”

In the late 1970s Martin was a youth worker at Black Patch in Foundry Lane, Smethwick, and later at Hockley Port just across the border in Birmingham. When hip hop exploded in the UK in 1982 with Malcolm McLaren’s hit single Buffalo Gals – featuring The Rock Steady Crew, Martin says his youth project became inundated with youngsters carrying ghetto blasters and bodypopping to the sounds of artists such as Whodini, Run DMC and Captain Rock.

Zulu Dawn will be displayed at The Public from Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm, Sunday, 11am – 3pm and is free to visit.