Friday, 28 November 2008

In a state of fluxhouse

I heard about the Windlesea Art Society being talked about as "an international avant-garde movement active in major Welsh, Essex, French, Swedish, and Welsh cities." Its participants were a divergent group of pensioners with nothing better to do and whose most common theme was their delight in other peoples misery. Their members avoided any limiting art theories, and spurned pure aesthetic objectives such as 'looking as good as the photo', producing such mixed-media works as found shinty, fart art, broken orchestras, and collages of readily available materials such as old lightbulbs, Stonehenge, false teeth and their occupants, valves, council workers 'on a break', wigs, legs and discarded Queen albums.

Their activities resulted in many events or situations, often called "what is this" — works challenging definitions of art as 'she is totally blind and wears a "head bumper" to protect her from any knocks'.

We have expanded our range of gifts, she said, and produced more Christmas cards to suit all tastes and (some in a special rubber coating), at your request, have a slimline calendar in addition to the popular larger calendar (A0 size for big-o) and focused on objects -- performances, guerilla or street 'theatre', concerts of electronic music — many of them similar to what in Sleaford were known as 'what'.

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