Graham Keen: 1966 And All That

From jazz musicians to beat poets, fine artists to Muhammed Ali, Graham Keen's photography captures the full cultural breadth of Swinging London

The British photographer Graham Keen turns 80 this year. To celebrate his career, Lucy Bell Gallery in Hastings is mounting 1966 And All That, an exhibition of Keen's work from the period. The exhibition, which has been curated by Lucy Bell and Terence Pepper, draws on Bell's vast archive.

Keen was involved numerous aspects of 60s London; his subjects range from Francis Bacon to Dizzy Gillespie. Through photographing television shows like Top of the Pops and Ready Steady Go!, Keen had access to seminal bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and the Who, depicting them in all their on-stage glory.

He documented artistic events, including Yoko Ono's first London exhibition in 1966. His photographs provide a rare documentation of her early artwork. The same year, he captured the London meeting of Muhammed Ali with British Black Power leader Michael X. This political dimension is further realised in his protest photography, which sees Marc Bolan, Joan Baez, Donovan and Vanessa Redgrave take to streets for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Keen was also a key member of the decade's more esoteric underbelly. He contributed photographs to the countercultural newspaper International Times, eventually becoming art director. The role saw him arrested and declared guilty of Conspiracy to Corrupt Public Morals. Later on, he founded the short-lived Cyclops magazine, which claimed to be Britain's first adult comic magazine and featured contributions by William S. Burroughs.