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Goldie’s stairway to fame featured at University show


The exhibition, ‘Stairway to Fame’, will take place at the same time as the MA Graduate Show and chronicles Goldie’s time as a breakdancer and graffiti artist in Wolverhampton.

Goldie will be visiting the exhibition for a special preview after he receives an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Design from the University on Friday, 3 September 2010.

The MA Graduate Show will showcase the work of over 50 graduating Masters students. Work on display will be from a wide range of disciplines including Ceramics, Glass and Video Installations.

The Show will be at the School of Art & Design in Molineux Street is open to the public from Saturday, 4 September to Friday, 10 September 2010.

Goldie said: “Receiving a Honorary Degree of Doctor of Design from the University of Wolverhampton will be such an honour and an emotional experience. I really look forward to the reception and the exhibition afterwards bringing back fond memories of my youth in and around the city.”

‘Stairway to Fame’ reveals Goldie’s creative roots in the region. It is the work of Goldie’s former manager and agent Martin Jones who carried a camera with him wherever he and Goldie went in the 80s. He owns an archive of thousands of shots documenting the early years of UK Hip Hop.

On leaving care at the age of 18, Goldie went to live in Heath Town, where he painted the housing estate with scores of colourful artworks, including his ‘Stairway to Fame’ series of murals in the stairwells of high rise blocks on the estate that predicted his future stardom. Wolverhampton Council recognised his talent by commissioning him to create a stunning walkway at Long Ley Primary School that later appeared in Thames and Hudson’s book on worldwide spraycan art.

Goldie was also a breakdancer at the height of Hip Hop in the mid-80s: one shot shows him on tour with the famous Wolverhampton crew The B Boys. His trip to New York in 1986 to meet the originators of Hip Hop is captured with a shot of Goldie meeting Prince Ken Swift of the Rock Steady Crew in Central Park.

His crowning glory as an artist, the superb 40’ x 8’ mural world record mural sprayed live continuously over 12 hours at Pebble Mill studios on Children in Need night in 1988 is also on show.

Goldie moved to London in the early 90s, when he was the prime mover in developing Drum and Bass, a new genre of dance music. He later moved into acting, appearing as Bond-villain ‘Bull’ in ‘The World Is Not Enough’ and as ‘Angel’ in Eastenders.

The exhibition, on the ground floor of the University of Wolverhampton School of Art and Design building in Molineux Street, is open to the public from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 4 September, and 9am to 5pm from Monday 6 to Friday 10 September. Admission is free.


For further information, please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736 or email

Picture: Goldie with his fellow breakdancer/graffiti artist Gary 'Birdie' Burns, in Park Village, Wolverhampton in 1986, both wearing rare New York 'B Boy' street wear. Photographer: Martin Jones

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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