'King of The Road', oil on canvas, 2015
Ahead of ‘A Minor Place’ opening next Saturday on September 3rd, here is a piece of writing by artist Andrew Smith. It will feature in a new publication by Indigo Octagon designed and created by artist Chris Cowdrill that will be for available for sale at the exhibition.
Andrew’s piece is a response to my lorry paintings, and is an adaptation of ‘The Futurist Manifesto’ by Italian artist Marinetti, written in 1908 as a ‘celebration of speed, machinery, violence, youth and industry’, in which Andrew has combined lots of phrases and language associated with trucks and the trucking life on the road. It’s a typically highly imaginative and surprising response from Andrew. I love it:
'The Road', oil on canvas, 2015
‘We had stayed up all night’
We had stayed up all night, my friends and I, one with dispatcher brains, the other deadhead with tow chain of filigreed brass. Sometimes we were driving by braille, at other times eyeballing the colouring book. For hours we put the hammer down on the big slab, up to the last confines of total logistics control and blackening many a blue eagle with our super single tyres.
An immense pride was buoying us up, because we felt alone in those hours, like proud old gears, or forward knight squires against an army of hostile pole cats glaring at us from galaxy 949. Alone like suicide jockeys feeding on motion lotion at the pickle park, alone with the training swifts who grope in the red-hot bellies of the freight shakers launched down their crazy courses, alone with the high speed chicken feeders reeling like wounded birds into the disco lights.
Suddenly we jumped, hearing the squawk box, and the huge off roaders that rumbled by ablaze with confusion lights, like massholes on holiday suddenly struck and uprooted by the flooding performance cummins.
Then the silence deepened. But as we listened to the blue radio tooth muttering its feeble rambo, and the creaking rocking chair, we suddenly heard the famished roar of the nada trucks.
“Let’s go!” I said. “Friends, away! Let’s go! The polar bear and the better half are defeated at last. We’re about to see the birth of the Pumpkin … we must smash the gates of life, brush our hair and comb our teeth. Let’s go! Look there, on the earth, the very first dawn! There’s nothing to match the splendour of the salad bar after winter, the ball bearing turbo slashing through the millennial gloom!”
We went up to our three snorting beasts, to lay amorous hands on their torrid breasts. I stretched out my covered waggon like a corpse, but revived at the wheel, felt the hammer threaten my stomach.
High speed chicken feed swept us out of ourselves, blew our doors off, drove us through the clean shots. And like young lions we raced after Death, the meat wagon: to be greasy side up, and back in the yard. Death, domesticated, met us at every turn, holding out its paw like a city kitty. “Let’s break out of the swindle sheets, the chicken coop of safety, shake the bushes like the wind. Let’s give ourselves utterly to the Unknown, not in desperation or at 10-33 or on cheap cb, but as comedians starting a new career at Paschall Services.”
Andrew Smith and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.
'The Tyres Rushing By In The Rain', oil on canvas, 2015