Monday, 10 September 2007

Height limit

Steering Committee

Heading North

A new phenomenon is set to sweep the motorways, highways and streets across the UK as Arts organisation Walk the Plank, in partnership with Manchester City Council, create the UK's first Art Car Parades in Manchester on the 8th September.

Michael Trainor, Curator of Art Cars 2007 explains... "An Art Car is a drivable installation - any vehicle which has been re-imagined, re-styled, re modelled, or completely metamorphosed by an artist. Vehicles can be decorated, sculpted, adorned, illuminated or bejewelled to create "transports of delight" in the shape of cars, trucks, bikes and trikes, mobility scooters or even pedal or solar-powered contraptions!"

The Art Car Parade is a totally new concept in the UK: designed to challenge the glorification and dominance of the car in a creative, playful and inventive way, which also encourages people to think about using their cars less, to reduce congestion and pollution.

The original concept to bring an Art Car Parade to the UK was conceived by Liz Pugh and John Wassell from Walk the Plank, one of the UK's leading Arts organisations specialising in outdoor performance. Art Car Parades are a huge phenomenon in the USA, with the first, and by far the largest, in Houston with 250 Art Cars on show, attracting over 200,000 spectators annually. John saw that Parade in 1990 when working in Texas, and Liz saw some of the Art Cars at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada a few years later.

Artists from all over the UK have been commissioned to create weird and wonderful vehicles to take part in the Parade some of these include:

Tiki Love Mobile - A mosaic/ceramic adorned and illuminated automobile, created by Baroness von Reichardt and her partner Mr Spunky, which is driven by two hula girls.

Team Minnie have created a bespoke fabric outfit made from customised and recycled materials, beautifully tailored to fit the curves of their Mini. Minnie is created by a team of female artists from Manchester.

Carbon Miles - A Trabant famous for being horribly polluting converted to pedal power, in its 50th anniversary year, created by artist Jamie McCartney.

Liz Pugh, from Walk the Plank comments...

"As well as inviting established artists we want members of the public to get involved and create Art Cars of their own. We're encouraging participation from people from all over the country to get creative and join the fun by producing their own transport of delight... possibly with matching outfits! Walk The Plank has already received interest from community groups, mechanics, youth groups, musicians and individuals, and are looking forward to receiving more creative ideas"


Recovery service


1. automatic
2. automotive
3. automobile


1. self; same; of or by the same one: autobiography
2. self-caused: auto-hypnosis
2. self-propelling: automobile


a German Motorway


an account of a person's life written or otherwise recorded by that person


1. the act or process of recovering, esp. from sickness, a shock or a setback
2. restoration to a former or better condition
3. the regaining of something lost
4. the extraction of useful substances from waste

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

This is Chris

This is Chris. He owns CP Auto Recovery the company that tows the car from garages to galleries. One of the highlights of The Long and Winding Road is working with Chris. He is an artist of logistics. He takes pride in his work.The way he lowers the tilting top of the tow truck. The way he ties the tyres to the platform. The way he drives. I love the conversations we have on the open road. So far we have touched upon the dangers of Satellite Navigation, the perils of the congestion charge, accountancy for the self-employed and the way his job is like a funeral director for cars. He gets called out to a lot of accidents. And a lot of the cars involved in those accidents aren't going to drive back home. They will be written off. Chris is the man who does the writing off. He has seen some things in his time. I value his support and advice. He was the only Auto Recovery company I called who sounded interested in the project. He checked this website. He has been great at providing quotes for different pit stops on The Long and Winding Road. He drove the car back to Nottingham from the ICA at 2am in the morning in the pouring rain with a fake Ferrari Testarossa on the back of the truck at the same time. I don't know if I could do that. He keeps the car at his yard until I'm back in town. When we roll it up the slope into my lock up he says things like 'It's been on it's little adventure' or 'Let's put it back to bed.' He is recommending ways of crushing the car and winching it into the River Mersey next year. Chris is a member of the Steering Committee. It's good to have him on board. I don't think I could follow The Long and Winding Road without him.