Sunday, 2 March 2014

Thank yous

A number of people have asked me who made my neon piece 'I'M IN LOVE WITH THE MODERN WORLD'.  It was NeonNeon of Farnham, Surrey 
( NeonNeon is run by Nick Malyon. Nick has worked with, among others, Mona Hatoum, Cerith Wyn Evans and Tracey Emin, and did a superb job on my piece. Thanks too to the technician Stuart Harte, who positioned it inch perfect on the 99p Stores pediment (working on a very wobbly monkey tower, with much wisecracking from pavement level).

One of the things you learn when involved with any public installation is that a lot of expertise, help and favours need to be called in. So there are plenty of people I want to thank. One of them is James Brooks, who alerted me to the Street Gallery project which is responsible for the programme of art interventions in Cleveland Park Avenue. Another is the photographer Charlie Milligan. The week the installation was switched on Charlie was particularly busy. Even so he crossed London on a very cold evening , at very short notice, and took endless trouble over the photographs.

Again, Ashley McCormick, curator of the Street Gallery project, has put in far more time than she was required to, both before and during the installation, coming up with any number of helpful and creative suggestions. Sam Neal, programme manager, physical regeneration, with the London Borough of Waltham Forest, has been a consistently positive presence - and thanks of course to 99p Stores who have made their building available for all the Street Gallery projects.

There are many others - and they all contributed to making the project great fun - and doable! 

Saturday, 1 March 2014


January 14th saw the installation of my neon text piece 'I'M IN LOVE WITH THE MODERN WORLD' on the pediment of the 99p Stores in Cleveland Park Avenue, Walthamstow, London E17.

It's the latest installation for Street Gallery, the Waltham Forest Council's funded programme of art interventions.
The illuminated artwork, which is 26 ft long, takes a line from 'Modern World', a song by the American singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman, a song described by the Guardian journalist Laura Barton as 'one of the most magical in existence, a pean to the modern world, to the urban landscape'. I agree.

In another of his songs, 'Roadrunner', Richman sings 'Gonna drive past the Stop 'n' Shop/With the radio on/I'm in love with Ma**achusetts/And the neon when it's cold outside/And the highway when it's late at night/Got the radio on'. Richman's urban, everyday world of highways and bright lights and shopping malls is a world I respond to very powerfully, and neon was the obvious medium for my piece. Then Cleveland Park Avenue site in Walthamstow was perfect too.