Friday, 14 September 2012

Seeing Red

In 1979 I had the idea of creating a red poster, just for fun. It was simple; all I had to do was collect anything that was red of a convenient size, (pillar and telephone boxes were out), and arrange them on a photographer's studio floor. For weeks I rummaged through draws, trawled supermarkets, hung around waste bins. Friends used to my sudden and inexplicable passions either gave me things or lent them. Finally photographer Mike Brown let me into his vast studio in Leicester and I started laying mountains of stuff out on the floor. The camera had to be on a special rig above it all and I spent hours saying things like: "Just move that lightbulb one centimetre to the left of the child's shoe". This is the result, and very excitedly we thought of doing a yellow one, a green one- you get the idea. Well, it didn't happen, and the original print got lost. Until a couple of weeks ago when it resurfaced in a designer's plan chest in Gravesend and I'm thinking of doing a print of it. The plan chest went on e-bay, the print came to me. So thankyou Maggie, you're a star. A Red Star of course.

26 comments:

Sue said...

That's brilliant! From Oxo to Old Spice to Little Red Riding Hood to Daniel Lambert...

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Sue! It's a bit difficult to discern at this size, but there's some quite obscure stuff hiding in there. Somewhere is Pissaro's 'Red Roofs' painting, I think.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Very good, but the tomato should have been moved half a millimetre to the right. I did a lot of this "left a bit, right a bit" stuff in studios when working on the Eyewitness Books for DK - with the difference that we were leaving space for as-yet-unwritten text as well. It's a painstaking carry-on and I am all admiration.

I like the little magnet, had one just like it when I was a boy. And is that a bottle of Stephen's ink?

Sue said...

It has a touch of this about it:
http://www.secretagencyblog.blogspot.de/2012/07/leaves-of-grass.html

Peter Ashley said...

Indeed Sue. But that really does need patience. We were ready to to the pub after three hours.

Stephen Barker said...

Good to see Uncle Joe's Mint Balls in there. I finally got a copy of your new book on Saturday when Beverly in Quinns's decided it was up to standard! I also finally got a book I had ordered on the third attempt after she had sent the two previous copies back as being damaged.

Peter Ashley said...

Stephen: Which book was that then? Don't tell me, ahem, my book on towers is already out?

Peter Ashley said...

Good God it is. Thankyou for the alert Stephen, (and for purchasing it!). It's not supposed to be out until this Thursday. I must get a post out quickly.

James Russell said...

I love the fact that they're objects rather than pictures - great fun. 'Preposterous Erections' meanwhile reminds me of a time when we went camping en famille, and my stepfather proudly toasted our 'successful erection' of the tent. At which my brother and sister, who were very young, dissolved into fits of giggles...

Philip Wilkinson said...

Blokes (and women I suppose) who turn up in the early hours to put up market stalls are sometimes known as spooks. There's a firm in the Midlands that runs markets and this firm is called Spook Erections. Preposterous indeed.

alanterrill said...

Some serious under-promotion going on here -the new book has been out for nearly two weeks - a friend at the Folly Fellowship Garden party told me they'd just got their copy the weekend before last and so I rushed to Amazon to find a couple of copies going for £2 new on Amazon Marketplace. How is that possible? Anyway, I bagged one quickly and now I see Peter is doing a talk on the contents of this book at Cheltenham on 9th October. Has anyone told you Peter?

Peter Ashley said...

It appears I do have to have a word with my publisher. Thankyou, PE post coming up.

Stephen Barker said...

Peter, my apologies for disturbing the ant's nest, the book has been around for a couple of weeks which surprised me as I thought it was'nt out until October. I forgot to say that the photos as ever are superb and made me want to go and see many of the towers for myself. I enjoyed the book very much, good to see taht your old friend 'rumour has it' making an appearance.

Peter Ashley said...

Phil: I remember Spook Erections having a depot on the old station yard at Moreton-in-Marsh. And very cleverly their trademark was a pregnant ghost with a halo above its head.

Peter Ashley said...

Stephen: Thankyou very much. I think I've enjoyed putting this one together as much as any.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Re Spook Erection (singular, it turns out), the company still exists, though it seems to be based in Penrith now, running markets mostly in the northwest and Scotland. They still use the pregnant ghost trademark.

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