art moves

Art Moves was a collection of eccentric mobile art vehicles on the Olympic Park - from the sublimely beautiful to the wilfully bizarre. I was working with the marvellous Serious team as project manager and the brilliant curators, Fiona Boundy (of ELMO) and Adriana Marques.

The vehicles included a giant gull where you could find useful information about - um - gulls; a gorgeous yacht called Collective Spirit made from old wooden items such as a clothes hanger; and a 4 metre high steel tractor-cum-chariot made by Francis Thorburn which was pushed onto the site from his Pudding Mill Lane studio by 20 men in black underpants and kneepads.

It was a pleasure working with Francis. He had a steely determination to confound the mundane and a clear vision as to how to do it - by organising his curiously industrio-sadomasochistic procession through the heart of the Olympic Park! For a family spectacle it was quite...original.

But behind its deviance was an intriguing challenge to the bureaucracy of road use and our preconceptions of what can or should pass as a legitimate vehicle. Believe it or not no special permissions were required for his 'beast' because it occupied the same legal category as a horse and cart - which, I believe, has the right to use any road in the land. We did inform the park authorities of course and they were flexible and supportive in their response - they even provided a police escort on two bikes which Francis, with a keen eye for the theatrical, was keen to turn into two horses (sadly we were too late in our request).

francis thorburn's vehicle #15
francis thorburn's vehicle #15

Another artist I really enjoyed meeting was Adam Chodzko. He was paddling Ghost, a gorgeously streamlined kayak made out of 7 types of wood, up and down the Lea. He would take one passenger at a time; the kayak had been designed to allow them to lie back and watch the passing sky. It looked serene. Adam would return after each trip with tales from the journey.


Art Moves was delightful to work on. We didn't have long to pull it all together but it had a lovely feel to it - gentle, unexpected and fun. A nice way to move into the autumn.