Whilst on the travels, as you can imagine, I visited a great deal of galleries and saw lots of amazing art. They were a great source of inspiration for me as well as being any travellers dream… a fantastic free activity! The most memorable visit has to be in Melbourne at the National Gallery Victoria. Being an extremely well established gallery; I got to see the likes of William Morris, Mark Rothko, Picasso and David Hockney, plus a really amazing piece of art by Jeff Koons- Puppy Vase– a real tribute to the working class objects of my grandma’s living room. But the piece which really hit home for me (please excuse the pun) was by Scott King- A balloon for Britain. The piece framed 10 grainy photographs of Britain’s 10 poorest towns and cities. Above each image was a brightly coloured balloon symbolising the gentrification/regeneration of these towns using public art. And low and behold was an image I recognised.. I’d passed that same building each day for 8 years as I passed it on my to school/college. There was my home town of Blackburn! Seeing Blackburn depicted, (be it not in the kindest of lights), in the National Gallery of Victoria was a mile stone for me. It symbolised where I’d come from and re-established that notion of working class roots within my work.
A balloon for Britain