This is not art. No.13…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s elephant in the room is the one that used to be called Jumbo, but changed his name to Lionel, as he was fed up with constantly being stereotyped.

dscn4465Now, if this was on a posh gallery wall, and say about six feet by four feet in size, trendy people in their expensive suits would be fighting over it, each trying to be the first to dish out wads of cash for it and take it home. But, no, this is not art. I dare say that my photograph of it is art, but the thing itself, isn’t…
‘So, Dave, what is it then?’
Well, this picture was taken last May, and I can’t actually recall where I took the picture… Oh yes, hang on, I think I can… it’s all coming back to me…Ā  it might have been when I had that day out in York, perhaps I was walking with my friend somewhere near the National Railway Museum; I seem to remember a tunnel, with a road, pedestrian way, and a cycle track going down under a bridge carrying the main line.
This was the pavement at the entrance to the tunnel – these cheery figures are showing where one could walk in safety, and not be hit by too many cyclists.
Yes, it really was that colour, no Photoshopping going on here, (well, just a little bit of cropping) – this seems to be done in that road paint that they use for their double yellow ‘no parking’ lines.
Isn’t it great that when the old ‘walking man’ was nearly worn out by people’s feet and then covered with a new coat of yellow, the gang who came to reinstate him decided that instead of just putting some more white paint on the original outline, their aesthetic sense kicked in, and they decided that they didn’t think much of the previous gang’s figure drawing skills and plonked their own design next to the original so that people could see how much better theirs was – which, in my opinion, produced this poignant and deeply moving piece of work which deals with the ephemeral nature of mankind, invokes the glowing ghosts of times long past, and hints at fools and their shadows who take a step, with unwarranted confidence, into the future, the great unknown… Look out! Here comes a cyclist!…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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11 Responses to This is not art. No.13…

  1. luke610 says:

    He’s leaner, meaner and in such a goddam hurry to get somewhere. The original, rather optimistic looking yellow person underneath is a much nicer individual, I think. I’d stop and chat to him.
    Last time I was in York (2008 I think) it was minus 6 but I had the best fish. chips and mushy peas at a shop in the Shambles.

  2. Wow, first thing I thought of was a poster for women’s self defence class…..wonder what that says about my thinking! Anyway, great shot, well observed. Lovely colour as well *ahem*. Last time I was in York was 2010 and while wandering past the Minster, some students were playing a game of Ninja’s and invited us to join in. We declined respectfully, but enjoyed watching them larking around jumping all over each other!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Is York known for its student ninja community?
      Apparently the fish and chips are good in York…

      • luke610 says:

        Eyup … it’s Friday, that’s traditionally when you’re supposed to have Fish n Chips isn’t it? I’m so bloody ‘ungry now.

      • Hmm, student ninjas are something of a mystery to me I admit, not actively being one myself. I daresay that they started off small back then, and probably expanded their community through their ebullience…..Also I haven’t the southern fish and chips, but I will next time I visit. Avoiding all the ebullient Ninjas, of course! šŸ™‚

      • Dave Whatt says:

        I don’t think you could call them ‘southern’ fish and chips dear Scribbler – oh, but then again, from where you are in Scotchland I suppose they are ‘southern’, and so am I…

      • Oh I didn’t mean to cause any offence – what I thought when typing that was that fried food tends to be done in lard, whereas up here its done in some sort of vegetable oil. Just a north south thing, no divide intended, no borders… wall…. šŸ˜€

      • Dave Whatt says:

        Ho ho, no wall indeed!
        I have been told, that the best fish and chips are fried in beef dripping!

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