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Exhibition 2009

August 26, 2009

‘In To Land’, Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury

Showcasing a collection of works by artists exploring our relationship with cultural and physical landscapes through contemporary practice

 

‘The 1947 V-12 Lincoln’

Limited Edition Artists Book and Installation

 

I take a flight from Bristol, England to Grenoble, France to stay with a close friend, Marie Helene. The previous couple of months had been difficult, my stepmother had died, my father was in hospital, a long-term relationship ended and I was unemployed. My Dad was later to move into a residential care home.

I sent dad a postcard while I was away.

Dad told me he often wonders who is in the mirror. Sometimes I know he is lost to the havoc of age – not raging but sleeping into occasional cruel dreams of agility and firm ardour. We have points of reference that we both understand but are closed to others; he asked me if I remembered Monica Rose from a 1960s game show: Hughie Green’s cheeky cockney assistant. I said of course, and mentioned she had become a born-again Christian. Dad went quiet for a while puffing his cigar, then said ‘You went to America with me, I took you to America when you were a boy’. I know he did. I remember Dad and I on a guided tour bus going through China Town, December 1968. A lady took a photo of us with a tiny spy camera. I remember the snow in New York City. My Uncle Brian had a Buick with big clunking doors. My Auntie Edna had a white toy poodle called Charlie. I thought it was un-American.

Grenoble, near the village my friend lives, has something of the Portmeirion about it. I liked riding the egg-shaped cable cars that go to and from La Bastille. I was at peace suspended above the river, going up and down with no responsibility. I welcomed this gentle distraction.

I remember the French February days as cold and bright. Cold enough to encourage me to go to the local Emmaus and buy a violet and purple nylon ski suit. My friend Marie Helene later took photographs of me in this outfit posing by her blue Peugeot with the Vercors massif providing a magnificent backdrop. Between the tasks of the everyday we would walk Mr. Haruki it was on one these walks after calling at Muumuu’s that Marie Helene introduced me the Lincoln.

I would spend hours looking at the Lincoln taking photographs and salvaging small items. The history of the car slowly unfolded through Marie Helene’s acquaintances and friends in the small community.

The Lubin Lincoln

‘The 1947 V-12 Lincoln’ installation

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