Wingers in Heavy Boots. Phoenix Art Centre, Leicester, 1990.

This was a collaboration with a good friend (Chris Morris)...
It was sort of about football (loosely).
Looking back twenty two years, it seems more like we were recreating a medieval siege!

We had a massive communal back yard at this time. Billy (eldest son) was barely crawling around, so subsequently I needed to be at home quite a bit. Spending the summer working outside in the yard seemed a good idea. Not sure how the neighbours felt - I cant remember them complaining at all! At times it was like Arnold Lavers wood yard.
These were really heavy duty machines we built. Timber, rope, chains, aluminium...
And it was quite 'physical' as far as performance goes as well. Lots of pushing, pulling, climbing (very rickety ladders). The 'wingers' role was particularly painful, hanging from that crane with those massive wings!
We'd transport the carts, ladders, crane, megaphones and wings in an old flat bed truck up to Psalter Lane art college car park to rehearse. Chris very nearly lost his front teeth when the cage and megaphone (not pictured) fell forward with him inside - the aluminium megaphone and Chris's mouth connected...
And then there was Brian, the local newsagent from across the road (Empire News) who 'road tested' the large megaphone on wheels one day... Up and down the road he marched shouting 'Yorkshire water, Yorkshire water, mains burst, turn off your stop cocks'. Strange man.
The performance was all clanking, groaning, creaking wood and metal, whistles blowing non stop, footballs on elastic tied to ankles flying all over the place, pushing and pulling carts, climbing ladders that swayed and hung precariously over the audience, flags unfurled and showers of silver foil unleashed under a bright spotlight...

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