Aubrey 'Po' Powell co-founded the album cover design company Hipgnosis with Storm Thorgerson in 1968. Hipgnosis created some of the most innovative and surreal record cover art of the 1960s, 70s and 80s for the biggest bands and musicians of the era including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and 10cc.
Born in Sussex in 1946, Po attended school in Ely, Cambridgeshire. On leaving school, he met Storm Thorgerson and members of the then fledgling Pink Floyd in Cambridge and struck up friendships that have lasted to the present day.
He and Storm started Hipgnosis in 1968 and conceived their first album cover for Pink Floyd’s A Saucerful of Secrets.
For fifteen years Hipgnosis thrived as one of the best known photo design companies and latterly movie makers, creating timeless rock iconography.
“Suddenly we were doing album covers. We were in business; by the time we were twenty-two we were in business, and then it just happened, it took off from then on.”
That they chose the LP cover as their canvas in no way denigrates the aesthetic and creativity of this work, in fact it meant that it was seen and loved by millions that otherwise would not have encountered it. It is creative photography, performance, surrealism – it is art.
Since parting company with Storm in 1982, Po has been involved in film making, first as a producer and writer and then as director. Over the last 20 years he has directed documentaries, live shoots and corporate films.
His association with Pink Floyd has endured and he was the art director for the cover of their latest album ‘The Endless River’.
From the Hipgnosis archive
Po and Storm kept hold of much of their original Hipgnosis source material and so have been able to draw on their fantastic archive to produce a number of stunning editions over the last fifteen years.
Boxes full of photographs, printed and often cut up into collage; strips of negatives showing alternative views of some of our most familiar music iconography; a precious archive of material that shaped our collective visual culture.
All of this original imagery provides a rich resource from which to embark on producing limited edition prints.
“Yes, it was a battle and I loved every minute of it.”