Saturday, 23 May 2009


The Long and Winding Road was commissioned by Hinterland 2005 and Fierce! 2007. The End of the Road was supported by The Bluecoat and the University of Chester with thanks to British Waterways and Mersey Docks. The artist would like to thank the Steering Committee, all the venues and festivals and everyone who has supported him on The Long and Winding Road. Thank you for joining me on the journey.

Venues: Arnolfini (Bristol) / ARENA Festival (Leicester) / Basement (Brighton) / Hinterland, Broadway and Hatch (Nottingham) / Depot Untapped, the ICA and Sprint 2008 (London) / Ikon Gallery and mac (Birmingham) / The Public (West Bromwich) / X-Trax 2004, Art Car Parade 2007 and Hazard08 (Manchester) / The Bluecoat (Liverpool)

Documentation: Stuart Alexander / Kevin Edwards / Rosie Garton / Dom Henry / Rhiannon Jones / Scott Kelly / Richard Kingdom / Julian Hughes / James Mattison / Ming De Nasty / John Newling / Dave Parkin / Jon Rouston / Ollie Smith / Gareth Taylor / Pete Todd

Invigilation: Rohane Renton (Bristol) / Ollie Smith (Nottingham) / Emily Smallwood and Emily Wilson (Liverpool)

Dramaturg: Rosie Garton

Technical Director: Kevin Edwards

Graphic Design: James Mattison and Mooli

Video: Active Ingredient and Vent Media

Audio: Blissful Virtuous

Illustration: Rikki Marr

Towing: CP Auto Recovery

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Crushing the car

Images: Julian Hughes

Last words

Thank you for joining me on The Long and Winding Road. This is my car. This is my car history. On 17 May 2004 I embarked on a journey in a graffiti covered car from Nottingham to Liverpool. The car was packed with 365 mementoes wrapped in brown paper and string, tagged and logged. The journey lasts until 17 May 2009 when I will drive the car into the River Mersey. The journey started with a letter to my brother. The letter became a parcel. The parcel became a suitcase. The suitcase became a car. This is my car. This is my car history. This is the end of the road.



The End of the Road

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Friday, 15 May 2009

Saturday, 9 May 2009

The Bluecoat

At the Bluecoat

Dear Steering Committee

The end of the road is here. On 17 May 2004, I embarked on a journey in a graffiti-covered car from Nottingham to Liverpool. To mark the completion of this five year journey, I have been invited to end the project at The Bluecoat in Liverpool. For the month of May, the film of the journey so far will be on show in the Hub at the venue. I would like to invite you to two events as part of a trilogy at The Bluecoat. Please find below more information and attached a flier for the trilogy.

The Long and Winding Road
Saturday 16 May 2009
11am - 2pm / 3pm - 6pm
The Courtyard

This intimate and poignant one-to-one performance invites passengers to join the artist for a travel sweet and a car history. The Long and Winding Road explores the experience of loss, memory, mourning and recovery. 'A highly emotive and powerful piece’ – BBC Online.

The End of the Road
Sunday 17 May 2009
Duke's Dock, Liverpool

On 17 May 2009, five years after his journey began, the artist will winch the car into the Mersey. After 3000 miles, 365 passengers, 25 tins of travel sweets and 16 pit stops, the car and its contents will then be crushed. The crushed car will return to The Bluecoat in June for a final performance installation - SORN.

The Long and Winding Road was commissioned by Fierce! and Hinterland with funding from the University of Chester. Thanks to British Waterways and the Mersey Docks. For information and images go to Safe driving Steering Committee. See you on The Long and Winding Road.

All best

The Long and Winding Road is a five year live art project by Michael Pinchbeck. For more information about the artist and his work please go to

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Thursday, 7 May 2009

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Merge like a zip

There is a road sign in New Zealand at a point where two roads approach each other and both streams of traffic have right of way that reads 'Merge like a zip'. As we approach the end of the road, I have often thought of this as a metaphor for the way in which The Long and Winding Road merges my practice and research, absence and presence and the past and the future. When asked to talk about the project, I have often misquoted Marshall McLuhan: 'We look at the present via the rear-view mirror, we drive backwards into the future.' The view I share with a passenger of the road ahead is always foregrounded by the road behind us. The baggage on the back seat. This process of 'merging like a zip' suggests two separate roads becoming a single road. The zip forms a whole from two halves. The zip is something that both opens and closes and makes two ends meet. The project has always been about trying to find a closure without knowing how. A very good friend told me I was seeking epiphanies and now I realise that he was right. I set off on a journey on 17 May 2004 without a sense of where I was heading. It was a dot dot dot not a full stop. Now as we reach the final stages I am filled with a sense that the closure I always sought has already happened. As is often the case with this project, I am only the driver, the car and the route it follows towards its inevitable history is already mapped out. Another phrase I keep thinking of is a 'road map for peace'. Odd when the language of driving is appropriated by politics but again it suggests a sense of following a preordained route. Maybe when the car is fully immersed in the Mersey, when there is no turning back, I will find my epiphany, my road map for peace, and everything I have spent the last five years working towards will make some kind of sense. The act of driving and the act of living will 'merge like a zip'.