EDitorial ± 22-Oct-2012

What Did Deller Wear?

Isn't every day that an artist Of Some Repute is in the area. That Jeremy Deller is a fella who, back in 2004, won that there Turner Prize, the prestigious and well-respected art prize, ahem. Can he paint? Dunno. But he can throw a half-decent video together, and he was the inspiration behind Acid Brass, where he got the Williams Fairey brass band to release a CD of tracks by the likes of 808 State and A Guy Called Gerald. For that alone, he's a hero.

(Stop Press: I have discovered in the last 5 minutes that a follow-up CD, Acid Brass II, was released by the Fairey Band last year: straight to wishlist)

JD's at firstsite in Colchester on a wet and windy Sunday afternoon to introduce a new documentary what he has done made (with Nick Abrahams). It's called The Bruce Lacey Experience and is all about the life and times of one Bruce Lacey, as you might suspect. Like most people, I'd never heard of this guy, this peculiar British eccentric, but he's done it all from appearing in The Beatles' Help! to working with The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band to being namechecked by Fairport Convention.

At the start of the film, we see him lighting fireworks. What doesn't become clear until later on is that each one has an action figure strapped to it, and that somehow these represent his grandchildren. Also loved his 1973 piece, British Landing On The Moon, which predates Wallace & Gromit with its astronauts taking a leisurely picnic. Not to mention his mechanised robots, or the slapstick films, or indeed the bizarre earth rituals. Comes over as quite a character. Lives locally-ish too, up in Norfolk.

Very decent of JD to come over to our neck of the woods. Afterwards, chatting to him, artist to artist, he invited me to co-produce a new giant Lego work. Not really. He did a brief Q&A about the Lacey film. What did Deller wear? Well, it looked like a corduroy jacket, plus trousers and a shoulder bag. Though I was quite a few rows back from the front.