Tongue in cheek exhibition celebrates Lewes FC

Charlie Dobres with the Lewes FC posters
Charlie Dobres with the Lewes FC posters

Lewes Football Club officials are still reeling after an outstanding response to the launch of a current exhibition in the town.

Club posters are now on show in ‘the Art of the Matchday Poster,’ in association with the Pelham House Hotel in Lewes.

Life's a Riot

Life's a Riot

The posters have been used to promote every men’s first team game at Lewes Football Club’s Dripping Pan stadium for the past four seasons. The exhibition showcases the best and most popular of the designs.

Club commercial manager Kevin Miller said: “The preview launch was last Wednesday and the exhibition curator at Pelham House has just got in touch with us to say we have done exceptionally well. It has been very well received. ITV’s Meridian came down on the day and we have also been mentioned on Talksport.”

He described how this type of publicity supports the Club’s successful ownership scheme which now numbers 1,200 ‘owners’ in 22 different countries. “News of this exhibition has reached across the world. The more partners we can gain, the more we can put back into the community.”

Using classic imagery, and popular culture from film, television and music, the posters are designed to be an affectionate homage to the culture of the day. They were put together by Lewes directors, and one of the founders of the Community Club, Charlie Dobres.

Banksy inspired Lewes FC v Met Police poster

Banksy inspired Lewes FC v Met Police poster

When Lewes Football Club became community-owned in 2010, belt-tightening meant that the club needed to design its posters in-house. Charlie took on the task, inspired by an album cover pastiche produced by the club’s previous designers, Proworx.

Charlie was involved in the original community takeover of Lewes Football Club. He said: “I was trying to think of ways to get across our message that football isn’t just for football fans. It is part of the social and cultural fabric of our country.

"The original heart of football, despite having shrivelled in the Premier league, is still alive and well in local, non-league football. A pie, a pint, a laugh, a match.”

He continued; “When you have no formal training in design, it forces you to make an advantage of your limitations. I raided my memory for all the iconic, though occasionally obscure, images I could think of. Not just album covers, but films and books too. Invariably, I’m trying to find stuff that will make people smile.

The posters recreate cultural icons

The posters recreate cultural icons

"Sometimes, you might have to ask a friend what on earth that week’s poster is about, but I like that too. I also sometimes enlist a friend to help. The ‘Rook In The Book’ illustration is by the marvellous Dave Shephard and the final artwork is sharpened up by Jack Godfrey.”

General manager of Pelham House Hotel, Tony Giauna, said: “I’m delighted to be working with Lewes Football Club. Like the Club, Pelham House is at the heart of our community. Our town is a great destination with an annual Artwave Festival and Glyndebourne season, regular sports fixtures and our famous Bonfire Night celebrations.”

Framed versions of the posters are displayed in the hotel’s reception, bar and atrium and posters are available to purchase at the hotel’s reception, as well as Lewes Football Club and online. The exhibition is free and has full disabled access.

All the work is for sale, framed or unframed. The exhibition runs from October 5-November 15.

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