Paul McCartney’s wrapping paper for Indica (the gallery bookshop not Cannabis Indica).
If more people knew of their existence, these should be very sought after bits of paper, fine examples of the vibrant crossover between art, Pop culture, counterculture. rock ‘n’ roll and public life in sixties London. This blogger is aware of one example each in the private collections of two individuals, one a dealer and the other a ’60s person of note.
Miles has recounted in print how McCartney “On the day the bookshop opened.. pulled up in his Aston Martin and heaved an enormous package from the back seat. he had designed and hand-lettered the wrapping paper for the shop: stark black letters on rather high quality white paper.As soon as the American fan magazines heard about this we began to get requests for it from American fans, all enclosing useless -to us- American stamps” (p161 Barry Miles -London Calling, 2010).
In conversation with this blogger, Barry Miles scoffed at the idea that the paper is rare, citing the 10, 000 or more leaves that were probably printed. Surely though, much was used for a variety of purposes besides wrapping books and art and the gallery was named after a drug, making it ideal for underground medical purposes. Wrapping paper is rarely kept and especially in such good condition.
Indica The Gallery (Barry Miles ran the bookshop half) was set up by John Dunbar to show the kinetic trend, and conceptual work and the art of the happening. Artists included Yoko Ono, Lillian Lijn, Mark Boyle, Takis and Carlos Cruz-Diez.