Surrounding her on sofas and chairs in the small studio on a quiet North London street are several punks in full regalia sipping tea out of fine china. All except one, who is sitting motionless with her eyes fixed on a spot on the ceiling. She's bemused, but delighted that the artist who lives down the street from the squat wants to draw her and her friends, luring them in with the promise of bottomless Earl Grey. She allows herself a slight smile.
This was a common scene in the West Hampstead home of Jo Brocklehurst in the early 1980s. The figurative artist, who died in 2006, is perhaps best known for her drawings of the punks who lived – along with Brocklehurst – on Westbere Road. They were part of the anarcho-punk set that congregated around the Centro Iberico squat in Notting Hill and the Wapping Autonomy Centre, putting together celebrated zines like Kill Your Pet Puppy. Crass and early Adam and the Ants were the scene bands.