The dancehall cover art of Wilfred Limonious




Joyous, colourful, subversive, the artwork of prolific Jamaican illustrator Wilfred Limonious graced the sleeves of the island’s burgeoning dancehall scene throughout the ’80s.

Celebrated in touring exhibition, In Fine Style: The Dancehall Art of Wilfred Limonious included reproductions of work from the early 1970s through to the mid-1990s, spanning three key phases in Limonious’ career: his newspaper comic strips, his illustrations for the publications of the Jamaican Movement for the Advancement of Literacy (JAMAL) and his distinctive artwork for the dancehall scene coming out of 1980s Jamaica.

While Tony McDermott was illustrating comic book album jackets for Greensleeves Records in the UK, Wilfred Limonious was producing similar work in Jamaica for labels such as Midnight Rock, Power House, Ujama, Techniques, Black Solidarity and many others. Below is a small selection of his illustrated LP jackets dating from the mid- to late-1980s.

01-Ghost-Busters-Black-Solidarity-1985-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Early B
Ghost Busters
(Black Solidarity, 1985)

02-Im-So-Attractive-Michael-Palmer-Jammys-1985-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Michael Palmer
I’m So Attractive
(Jammy’s Records, 1985)

03-Stalag-Various-Artistes-Techniques-c1985-Wilfred-Limonious-One-Love-Books copy

Various Artists
Original Stalag 17–18 and 19
(Techniques, c 1985).

04-Tidal-Wave-back-cover-Power-House-1985-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Frankie Paul
Tidal Wave (Back cover)
(Power House, 1985)

05-10-to-1-Super-Hits-Jammys-1985-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Various Artists
10 – 1 Super Hits
(Jammy’s Records, 1985)

06-Ride-The-Rhythm-Various-Artistes-Top-Rank-1985-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Various Artists
Ride the Rhythm
(Top Rank, 1985)

07-We-Rule-back-cover-Michael-Palmer-Power-House-1985-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Michael Palmer
We Rule (Back cover)
(Power House, 1985)

08-Reggae-For-The-World-In-Dub-Featuring-Joe-Lickshot-Various-Artistes-Scar-Face-1986-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Various Artists
Reggae For the World in Dub featuring Joe Lick Shot
(Scar Face, 1986)

09-Animal-Party-Papa-San-Scar-Face-1986-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Papa San
Animal Party
(Scar Face, 1986)

10-Ruling-back-cover-Josey-Wales-Black-Solidarity-1986-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Josey Wales
Ruling (Back cover)
(Black Solidarity, 1985)

11-The-Marshall-Cocoa-Tea-Jammys-1986-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Cocoa Tea
The Marshall
(Jammy’s Records, 1986)

12-Old-vs-Young-Various-Artistes-Ujama-1987-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Various Artists
Old vs Young
(Ujama, 1987)

13-Mr-Biggs-Presents-A-Super-Clash-Admiral-Baily-Tonto-Irie-Vibes-1987-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Admiral Bailey and Tonto Irie
Mr Biggs Presents a Super Clash
(Vibes, 1987)

14-Ram-Jam-Master-Various-Artistes-Harmodio-1987-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Various Artists
Ram Jam Master
(Harmodio, 1987)

15-Shut-Up-Bway-Frankie-Paul-Ujama-c1988-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Frankie Paul
Shut Up Bway
(Ujama, c 1988)

16-Labrish-Vol-3-Dennis-Star-1989-Wilfred-Limonious-In-Fine-Style-One-Love-Books copy

Various Artists
Labrish Vol 3
(Dennis Star International, 1989)

Currently on show at The Glass Room, Colston Hall, Bristol, and coming to the South London Gallery, Camberwell, London on 23 March, In Fine Style: The Dancehall Art of Wilfred Limonious is curated by Al “Fingers” Newman and Christopher Bateman and is produced alongside a 270+ page book on Limonious’ life and work, due for release on One Love Books in July 2016.

Click here for more information or check Christopher Bateman’s In Fine Style blog here.

All photos courtesy One Love Books.