Celebrated as a leader of London’s ‘Underground’ in the 1960–70s, and a leading British poet and performance artist of his time, Jeff Nuttall found fame through his critique of post-nuclear culture, Bomb Culture, which provided an influential rationale for artistic practice through absurdism but lost that recognition a decade or so later. Less well recognised, and with greater influence, is the distinctively visceral sensibility underlying much of his creative work, notably his poetry that draws on Dylan Thomas and the Beat Movement, his graphic drawing and luscious painting styles, and his pioneering performance art. This article argues that it is through these artistic expressions of visceral intelligence that Jeff Nuttall’s art and its long-term influence can now best be understood. It is intended to complement the Jeff Nuttall Papers in the Special Collections of The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, University of Manchester, deposited by the gallerist and poetry publisher Robert Bank (1941–2015), to whose memory this article is dedicated. Further papers have been added by Nuttall’s friends and relatives.
with other agencies and included a sharing of the Vincentian charism with co-workers. 17 Anselm Nye in his history of the English Dominicans also points to continuity and change. The Dominicans continued their apostolate to tertiary education through a new theological training centre but also approved individual ministries with Pax Christi and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. 18 Much of the social justice work done by religious institutes was initially ad hoc; by the late 1980s and 1990s, after a few decades of experimentation, many religious institutes
twentieth century as the Church and independent Irish state combined forces to create a mythical Ireland founded on the imagined model of the idealised Catholic nuclear family.28 The new Church–state coalition went further than ever before to discipline, contain, and control young women and girls, preparing them to grow into virtuous Catholic wives and mothers.29 In 1925, Galway’s Catholic bishop advised men to keep their wilful daughters in line: ‘If your girls do not obey you, if they are not in at the hours appointed, lay the lash on their backs. That was the good old
modern phenomenon of the single-family home and the nuclear family. In his view, the home became, by the late nineteenth century, the ‘fundamental unit of culture’ and thus the primary site of religious consumption.25 Acquiring devotional items for the home was a primary duty of Irish wives and mothers. Thus modern Irish Catholicism, with its visual and material culture, was deeply wedded to commercialisation and consumerism. Indeed, the rise of the middle classes in Ireland, as elsewhere, was accompanied by ‘the rise of commodity culture’.26 In Lisa Godson’s analysis
-up mass protests, local, national and international, emerging out of student and worker movements, anti-nuclear and anti-war demonstrations and the civil, women’s and gay rights rallies that took place from the late 1950s into the 1970s. 5 Protests gave voice to many who felt unrepresented in social and political spheres. 6 One scholar has suggested that the Cold War emphasis on freedom and democracy ‘led [the] young to expect democratic institutions to live up to their democratic rhetoric’. 7 Many uprisings reflected a frustration and discontent, built up over time