Sep 9, 2009
"AS USEFUL AS AN INFLATABLE PIN CUSHION"
A few years ago my friend Francesca Baglione asked me if I would participate in a small show she created for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival called "Miss High Leg Kick's Fashion Bus". Based on the structure of a high fashion catwalk, caricatures of everyday London people would emerge from a double-decker bus onto a catwalk with all the pizazz and confidence of a supermodel. It's goal; to entertain the viewer but also to remind the world that everyone is fabulous. (this realization must only take place after you are done laughing hysterically) I figured if Im going to photograph this show, I absolutely have to be in it as well.
The first year we did the show, it was a "failure". Failure meaning the shows were somewhat empty often having to perform for an audience of two people. When the reviews came out,one in particular read "FASHION BUS- As useful as an inflatable pin cushion" 1 star. Francesca burst into tears. In an attempt to comfort her I said, "Who ever said art was useful? A blender is useful" and from then on we took being an inflatable pin cushion as a compliment.
We pressed on in all that supposed failure. A years later, The British Arts Council saw the show and decided to back us up. With their help and everyone at the Colchester Arts Center, for the past two summers we have been able to take this show on the road and turn it into a spectacular celebration of everyday people.
This summer we went back to Edinburgh to prove ourselves. To reclaim and redefine inflatable pin cushions. Yet by the time we got there, we realized it didn't really matter what people thought. The cast was so involved in the mere act of performing that the show was not strictly assigned to the stage. Everywhere we went was a stage...what more can you expect of a bunch of show offs? Taking photographs was easy.
Rather than show my own photographs of our recent time in Edinburgh, the above photos are the work of my friend and fellow cast mate Steve Nice, who picked up a camera after we met during the first run of Fashion Bus in 2006 and is now studying at Kingston University in London. I am so excited for him and his emergence into the world of photography.
*click on photographs to see them in detail