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17/10/2008

THE STORY OF NIGHTMAYOR


I am hoping to be posting some new photo-based images over the weekend. In the meantime I thought I would start an occasional series of posts regarding some of the artwork on this blog – mainly concerning any story that might be attached to it.

So I am starting with “Nightmayor” from 1995 – a hand-coloured collage – seen here printed on a t-shirt.

It was made by me when I lived in Penzance. There is a midsummer arts and music festival in the town ( Golowan) where everyone got drunk, made merry and generally took to the streets for about ten days.

In 1995 the mayor of the town was a guy who to put it mildly, somewhat divided opinion locally - and the festival seemed a good opportunity to have some fun at his expense.

In a quiet moment I took a newspaper picture of him – photocopied it , blew it up and hand-coloured the image. The lettering for the caption was Letraset ( those were the days ) and the neon light background was a picture from a magazine. It was A4 size and I took it along to the local copyshop and had it printed on a T-shirt. I wore it out to the pub that night for a laugh , and much to my surprise a few people wanted them. So it was back to the copy-shop with a handful of orders the next day. In the end I think I had about 70 or 80 printed – all sold out – ( I even sold some to a small gallery ) in about 4 days. The weirdest thing was during the festival and for months after I would see strangers wearing the T-shirt in the street, the pubs and cafes. I got the accolade from our local independent monthly paper (Peninsula Voice) of having produced the “funniest T-shirt ever produced locally” .It got local BBC coverage as well.

To be fair to the exalted man himself – the mayor purchased his own t-shirt ( through a third party )

The original image is somewhere in a box in the loft – maybe getting older – whilst the mayor retains a strangely youthful look.