Glasgow Eyes Magazine 

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society The Village Green Preservation Society 4th October – 18th November 2018
Proud Central, London

Rolling Eyes / Photography / Music / Proud Galleries / UK / London 

Proud Galleries is delighted to announce ‘The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society’, an exhibition celebrating the 50th-anniversary multi-format release of The Kinks’ sixth studio album, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.

On display is a selection of rare collector’s items including specially commissioned artworks by members of the band and vintage memorabilia, together with a collection of photographs documenting this remarkable period in the band’s history. Each work is hand-signed by surviving band members Ray Davies, Dave Davies and
Mick Avory.  ‘The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society’ explores the album’s defiantly British sensibilities and commemorates what is now considered to be the high point of The Kinks’ outstanding career.

The Village Green was originally released by The Kinks in November 1968 and became the final album from the original quartet: Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Pete Quaife and Mick Avory Despite a positive critical reception upon its release, the album did not perform well commercially, perhaps due to the band’s deliberate step away from the musical trends of the era. In retrospect, audiences have come to value the album’s timeless quality, with Pete Townshend of The Who describing it as, ‘Ray [Davies]’s masterpiece… what makes him the definitive pop poet laureate’. Defying the 60’s typical approach to rock ‘n’ roll, The Village Green offers an affectionate
and charming ode to the countryside through vignettes of English life. The album is adored by fans due to its ageless wit and multilayered musical innovation and has become a definitive piece of British pop culture, created by a band that refused to follow fashion.

The exhibition features photography from the album artwork photoshoot in Hampstead Heath, captured by established music photojournalist Barrie Wentzell. The original quartet lounge on the grass against the historic backdrop of Kenwood House, which, according to Wentzell, was “Ray’s favourite location to film”. Presented alongside prints and memorabilia is a special edition, supersized artwork produced by Morgan Howell to commemorate the album’s box set release. The artist reinterprets the bonus track WONDERBOY as a three-dimensional sculpture in his trademark style, using paint and canvas to mimic the creases and wear of a
50-year-old vinyl sleeve. Admirers of the band will be given the unique opportunity to view and acquire a variety of these rare pieces, each hand-signed by The Kinks.

‘The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society’ coincides with BMG’s 26th October 2018 multi-format reissues of The Village Green album, presenting an extensive collection of works relating to this iconic record. These include newly remastered CDs, LPs, digital albums and a beautifully produced Deluxe Box Set containing remastered versions of the original album on CD and LP, a wealth of previously unreleased bonus audio material, a hardback photobook with new band interviews and previously unseen photos, 7” singles and reproduced memorabilia. The exhibition aims to reintroduce the nostalgia of the Kinks’ most memorable album to a 21st Century audience and offers an insight into the enduring escapism the band created 50 years ago. When asked to describe the record, Ray Davies has said that; ‘everybody’s got their own Village Green, somewhere you go to when the world gets too much’.


Proud Galleries was founded in London in 1998, showcasing landmark photography exhibitions with a popular culture focus Since, the gallery’s inception, it has worked with major photographers, archives and acclaimed personalities such as Rankin, Brian Duffy and Norman Parkinson  to bring rare fine art photography to a wider audience.

As the gallery reaches its 20th anniversary, the new flagship venue Proud Central continues to expand its collection, bringing Proud’s diverse exhibition program to the Strand in central London.


The Kinks on Hampstead Heath (3), 1968, Barrie Wentzell The Kinks, Hampstead Heath, London, 1968, Barrie Wentzell © Barrie Wentzell “This session with The Kinks was held on Hampstead Heath. It was one of Ray’s favourite places to do photos and interviews, as we’d often had tea and a chat at Kenwood House on The Heath. We strolled over the Heath for an hour taking pictures of the band on a lazy, hazy sunny day. At the end of the shoot we all went up to Kenwood House to partake in tea and currant buns. This was the last shoot I did with the original band, which included Pete Quaife. A week later I got a call from Ray Davies to ask if I had any colour shots of the shoot, I said, “Yes,” and he said he’ll come by to take a look. He arrived at my Soho studio later that day and said, “Quick come with me to Pye Records, so we can take a look there.” As we were speeding up the Edgware Road he told me about the album idea. The old pubs, houses, steam trains, village greens and old London was disappearing before our eyes—very sadly romantic and nostalgic and true! I left the colour shots with the Pye art department, as Ray went off up north for a Kinks gig and I went home. When the album Village Green Preservation Society came out, I saw one of my colour pictures on the back cover. The cover picture was by one of the other photographers at the session and was overlaid with psychedelic effects. I somehow forgot to ask Pye for payment, and for them to return the transparencies, which wasn’t unusual back then. It was considered an honour and a privilege to do things for free. It was many years later that I did get paid for use of the photos, when Village Green was reissued, and Ray in his book X Ray said I did all the photos for the original album. Not true! But thanks Ray for the Days!” – Barrie Wentzell, as excerpted from Barrie’s forthcoming book.

THE KINKS PHOTO ARCHIVE. PHOTO ARCHIVE The Kinks performing ‘Days’ on BBC TV Top Of The Pops, August, 1968 © LFI/Avalon

The Kinks, Hampstead Heath, London, 1968, Barrie Wentzell © Barrie Wentzell

Ray Davies at a BBC recording of Top of the Pops, Lime Grove Studios, West London, Circa 1969, Andrew Maclear © Andrew Maclear