David Vaughan was an influential British artist who epitomised the ‘Swinging Sixties’ with his design team B.E.V. (Binder Edwards and Vaughan). They pioneered the use of bright, psychedelic colours and shapes on wall murals, cars, shop fronts and furniture from their base in Carnaby Street and boast a clientele which included The Beatles, The Kinks, Eric Clapton, Lord Snowden and even royalty. He ran the now famous Roundhouse Theatre in London where he would put on Light Shows for which Paul McCartney created the ‘hidden Beatles track’ and signed Jimi Hendrix for his first UK gig.

However, he fell from a scaffold whilst painting a wall mural and was unknowingly treated for his injuries with LSD. This had a profound effect on his mental state and he became aggressive and intimidating with an increasing hatred for capitalist values and the beneficiaries of capitalism. Despite treatment from renowned psychiatrist R. D. Laing, his relationships broke down and he moved back to Manchester where he spent the following 30 years as a near recluse, dedicating his life to community projects, until his death in 2003. Two years later, a builder employed to clean out Vaughan’s derelict house found letters and journals from throughout his life. These came to director Dean Brocklehurst’s attention and gave an intriguing look into the tortured creativity of a forgotten British icon.

David Vaughan: Black on Canvas is a feature length documentary which attempts to unravel the complexities of the man while following his daughter, Sadie Frost, who will hold a posthumous exhibition of his artwork ten years after his death. Attempting to find peace with the memory of a father with whom she had a turbulent relationship throughout her life.

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