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Flying Nun: Fabulous things

We are celebrating Flying Nun’s 40th anniversary with a display of seven posters from the label’s first decade, including those for The Clean, The Bats, and Look Blue Go Purple. Visit the mini-exhibition on the Lower Ground floor of the National Library.

About Flying Nun

In 2018, Flying Nun Records donated its archive to the Archive of New Zealand Music at the Alexander Turnbull Library (ATL-Group-00353). Master tapes and other recordings joined a wealth of posters, graphics and photographs by the label already deposited with the library.

Flying Nun Records was founded in 1981 by Roger Shepherd as a way of releasing music by the bands he was seeing live, but which he knew had little chance of being supported by the major record labels. Flying Nun became a success and remains influential nationally and internationally.

Happy 40th Flying Nun

It's Flying Nun’s 40th anniversary, to celebrate the Alexander Turnbull Library is exhibiting seven posters from the label’s first decade. Because many of the early Flying Nun bands created their own artwork for posters and record covers, there was a strong correlation between the music and the way it was represented visually.

The melodic jangle, drones and swirls of the music became semi-abstract representations. Typography was chopped, melted, and in some cases became almost illegible: what was being communicated was more exciting than a mundane announcement about a record release or gig.

Out of this swarm of visual ideas a sense of Flying Nun as a record label is born. It is kinetic, funny, unafraid to make mistakes… it is fabulous.

Colourful poster with a woman dancing, lots of different types of typography main words are :Flying Nun, six new releases".
Matthew Campbell Downes, Flying Nun Records six new releases poster. Ref: Eph-D-PHONO-1986-01