IN PRODUCTION:"COATHAM: A COMMON CONCERN" FINAL CUT e.t.a. top secret ;^)
IN PRODUCTION:"TEESSIDE TROUBADOUR: THE VIN GARBUTT STORY" e.t.a. 2009
NOV 5th 2008: SKINNINGROVE BONFIRE .
The 2008 Community Bonfire at Skinningrove
celebrated 3 anniversaries: 160 years since the ironstone
mine opened; 50 years since the mine closed and
25 years since the mine became the museum. NOV 10th 2008: A CENTURY IN STONE with Q & A at
Skinningrove Village Hall
7.00pm. £3.00 on door
OCT 30th:UNLOVED MIMA GETS GROUP HUG !
The poor thing got a group hug this week from its new "friends". You too can be a "friend" of "the people's gallery" so long as your not poor! £25 a year for individuals and £40 for families. So all you uncultured poor people better sort your priorities out: cut down on food, paying the bills and other excesses otherwise you're not gunna get regenerated ! ( Sarcasm maybe the lowest form of wit but i don't give a damn! )
17 OCT 2008:TENUOUS TEMENOS PASSED
Temenos has been approved by the Middlesbrough Council planning committee - as if there was ever going to be any other outcome! Before the meeting, BBC Tees interviewed me and Godfrey Worsdale, the curator of Mima and soon to be off to the Baltic in Newcastle...
John Foster BBC asked listeners if they thought I was a "a stick in the mud""with no vision" for opposing it. This was a bit cheap and obviously biased in favour. If you listen (left), I proposed an alternative vision. A really creative challenge could have been for an imaginative and uplifting piece that is truly inspired by Middlesbrough, reflecting it's heritage and looking to the future. I think Kapoor's abstract piece is one 'off-the-peg' (see Marsyas from 2002 below) with a patronising, tenuous link to Middlesbrough's heritage added for effect. I wonder if he even visit Middlesbrough before plans were unveiled ?!
John Foster BBC says"The past has to be celebrated but we have to look forward to the future". But Middlesbrough doesn't celebrate its true history in any significant way, that is one of my points.
Godfrey says"I think the precise metals used will be lost on most people". Godfrey I think the whole thing will be lost on most people.
Godfrey says "It's an absolutely fantastic world class public art work and people are talking about it all over the world". "This is a huge step foward for this area, and a huge step forward for Britain". Godfrey are you having a laugh?! I bet most of the people around the world talking about it will be bewildered Teesside exiles! And how much will a £2.7m abstract folly really change the lives of ordinary people going by on the bus to Netherfields?!
Of the farcical lack of consultation: "Opinion is important but so is bravery and the Tees Valley towns are showing bravery". Godfrey, opinion isn't important and the Tees V****y towns have no say. If I had put Temenos on the table, you would never say it was "absolutely fantastic and world class". This is because you and your ilk are part of an absolutely fantastic art racket propped up by gutless conformity to what is accepted by the bourgious arts funding elite. And this wags the nodding dogs of the planning committee who, having no artistic clue or vision, wouldn't dare question it.
Bottom line...As Anish Kapoor collects his cheque from Joe Docherty and Godfrey Worsdale sets sail to the Baltic, Middlesbrough Council have missed a massive boat to tell the town's story to the world and the people are left with a folly full of holes! Understanding of real Middlesbrough culture and identity is not moving forward.
Temenos (above) - inspired by M'bro?!
or Marsyas at Tate Modern in 2002 (below) - you decide!
OCT 2008:LAND OF THE GIANT WINDSOCK !
This is the full version of a letter printed in the Gazette 9.10.08
“Land of The Giants”, the epic 5-piece public art proposal for Teesside
is a fantastic concept. But the first of the five ‘Temenos’, the giant windsock planned for Middlesbrough is woeful and here’s why:
Temenos it is claimed, with its cables and stainless steel rings, “reflects the heritage of Middlesbrough”. Sorry to break the news to artist Anish Kapoor, Middlesbrough Council and Tees Valley Regeneration, but Middlesbrough didn’t make stainless steel, Sheffield did.
Middlesbrough’s glory wasn’t in knives and forks but girders, rails and bars on an absolutely gigantic scale never seen before on the planet. In the 1860s, the Newcastle Chronicle reported in awe of the 100 furnaces roaring along the Tees, “The traveller fancies himself sweeping over the crust of a smouldering planet. The whole land blazes with manufacturing volcanoes. It is vigorous, muscular, blazing and booming”. And famously at this time of course, came Gladstone who described the town “an infant Hercules”. To spell it out - a mighty young town that was going to get mightier!
Now I don’t think you have to be an artist to recognise the vast artistic potential in the concept of the ‘infant Hercules’. It is culturally authentic: inspired by the past but looking to the future. Think growth and ambition. Think creative fire, a regenerative phoenix, a burning heart. A tad appropriate I would say for a town touting big ideas of rebirth.
But in the pretentious vision of Ray Mallon's “designer label town” and Joe Docherty’s “Tees Valley”, Middlesbrough’s real cultural heritage sits uneasy. Do they see only smoke and filth and actively seek to undermine it? Sheffield isn’t ashamed and neither are the people of Teesside.
Real culture comes from the place and the people. How much was Anish Kapoor really inspired by Middlesbrough's heritage? Check out his Marsyas piece (pictured) that appeared in the Tate Modern some six years ago and draw your own conclusions.
You can impose culture from above but it’s fake and so is the current so-called consultation. The concept, the artist, the design and the location are decided and only now are people allowed to have their say... The only thing public about this piece of public art is
that the people will have to lump it !!!
THE FINAL CUT
is the deepest... COATHAM: A COMMON CONCERN
coming soon to out the truth!
SAVELONGRIDGE WOOD! 500 TREES TO BE FELLED FOR 80 HOUSES LETTHE MAYOR OF HOT AIRKNOW WHAT YOU THINK ! firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Here To Watch The Longridge Film and left for the BBC Tees Interview
2nd August 2008: THE LAST ESTON MINER PASSES HAROLD 'MIFF' BRIGHTON 1922-2008 . Miff, 86, passed away suddenly but peacefully in his sleep on Friday night. His family told me he had spent the previous day in good spirits sitting in his garden wearing his customary straw hat. Condolences to wife Marion, sons Barry and Steven, daughters Val and Gillian and nine grandchildren. Miff served 10 years in the pit and was one of the last to learn the time-honoured Eston tradition of drilling and blasting stone and filling wagons at the ironstone face. (There are one or two former horse-drivers who worked briefly in the pit still living such as Jack Plews, aged 95 and Syd Lincoln aged 97 but they were not miners). His family spent 4 generations in Eston Mine after originally arriving on foot from Norfolk in the mid-late 19th century. Young Miff worked in the pit with his brother, father and cousins; and there was even a district in the Pit known as "No5 Brightons". Miff left the pit with all his relatives, on the 10th May 1949 when cousin Randall Brighton was killed just 4 months before the pit closure.
The first time I went to see Miff was in 1999. He was keen to talk and was soon out of his chair vigorously barring the roof of his living room as if still in the pit! He had a unique use of language and peculiar turn of phrase as hinted at in the film.
He was good crack and full of boyish mischief which i am told is the origin of his nickname. The dvd signing session at Asda was a hoot!
The last of the tribe and a total one off. R.I.P.
Pics: Asda South Bank 2005 / Film Screening at Lazenby Club 2004 / At home with daughters Gill and Val, July 2006.
A CENTURY IN STONE IN CANADA Just put this on Youtube from April 2006 shot with my pocket digicam. Spreading the word across the frozen wastes between Toronto and Vancouver, 5 people stayed up to watch!
JULY 2008: PENNY RIMBAUD TALKS
Artist / musician / activist Penny Rimbaud talks at The NXNE Music Convention in Stockton, about his life and the hugely influential / controversial political punk band / organisation he founded called CRASS (1977-1984).
CLICK IMAGE FOR YOUTUBE MINI-SERIES
JULY 2008:FRIENDS OF THE EARTH FILM
The Friends Of The Earth commissioned film "ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE" on the history of industry, pollution and poverty on Teesside is now complete. F.O.E. will be officially launching the film in the near future (date tba) and it will be featured on FOE and Pancrack Youtube channels.
5th JULY 2008: ESTON MINERS' HIKE- PICS . The miners trudged the hills in all weather...and so did we !
CLICK PIC FOR GALLERY
SAT 9th AUGUST: SOLD OUT
SAT 16th AUGUST:SOLD OUT SAT 13th SEPT:SOLD OUT
ACIS INSPIRES IRONSTONE POEM
A Century in Stone inspires 'Origins Of Iron' a powerful new Eston hills poem from Teesside poets Andy Willoughby and Bob Beagrie. Filmed at the Python Gallery in Middlesbrough
THE IRON FLOWS AS THICK AS BLOOD...
JUNE2008:YOUR COUNCIL WATCHING YOU?
David Davis resigns as shadow home secretary because Labour are eroding basic freedoms at a rate of knots meanwhile your friendly local authority can watch your every move, listen to every call and read every email...check out this shocking article from the Daily Mail (of all papers!)...and no I'm not paranoid (irony geddit) or a closet Tory!
CLICK PIC FOR ARTICLE
JUNE2008:BBC EXPOSE MIMA PRETENCE !
The curatorial pretentions of Middlesbrough Council's new gallery exposed at last... "Why does famous artist Mackenzie Thorpe have his work shown across the world but not his hometown of Middlesbrough?" asks Chris Jackson of BBC Inside Out. MIMA will have no doubt got its huge funding citing Middlesbrough's deprivation stats but MIMA aren't interested in truly reaching the culturally deprived people of the town as curator Godfrey Worsdale's lame response typifies. Top marks to Inside Out.
CLICK PIC TO WATCH ON YOUTUBE .
ESTON MINERS' MEGA-HIKE -extra dates
8-mile x 8-hour guided walks on Eston hills of original trails, untold tales and unseen pics. From Flatts Lane to SS Castle, Wilton, Chaloner, Eston Nab, the ghost town of Pit-Top and many obscure sites. Hike is brisk so a bit of fitness required!
SAT 5th JULY:SOLD OUT SAT 9th AUGUST:SOLD OUT SAT 16th AUGUST:SOLD OUT SAT 13th SEPT: SOLD OUT
APRIL2008:FRIENDS OF THE EARTH WEBFILM
A commission from Friends of the Earth is now in production. This short film will
introduce the concept of 'environmental justice' = a healthy environment as fundamental in the struggle for social justice. Teesside was chosen as the case study as it has an epic past and present of industry and deprivation.
The 10 min. film will feature on FoE website in the coming months.
PANCRACK ARCHIVE: 1991 GRANGETOWN: 'NORTH OF THE ROAD' . Due to its relevant content and increasing archive value,
I have put all of GRANGETOWN - NORTH OF THE ROAD
on YouTube (in 5 parts). It was made in 1991 with a budget
of £10k. It was my second film following the original half-hour
A CENTURY IN STONE of 1989. It painted a picture of Grangetown past and (then) present. It stirred up some quite fierce debate when we took it round pubs and clubs like The King's Head and Grangetown Social which was as much the point as documenting the town's story.
MAR2008: VILLAGE GREEN APP. REJECTED . 'THE FRIENDS OF LONGRIDGE WOOD'fighting to save 500 trees in Marton from the eco-vandalism and anti-social behaviour of Ray Mallon and M'bro Council,have recieved the news that their application for 'village green status' has sadly been turned down.The reason given was that there has not been qualifying use of the land for the full last 20 year period. But the group are not giving up yet as the plans contradict the Council's own 'Local Development Framework' document which states that peripheral green spaces near housing must be kept. The fight continues!
MAR2008: A WASTE OF TREES AND PAPER! M'BRO COUNCIL MAGAZINE: "Trees can bring great benefits to us all. The majesty of an oak tree or the elegance of a silver birch enrich our daily lives and their beauty can relieve the dullest of days. And trees are in the frontline of tackling global warming"
MEANWHILE IN MARTON...500 SILVER BIRCH WAIT ON DEATH ROW!
CLICK PIC WITH SICK BAG AT THE READY FOR FULL ARTICLE!
5th FEB 2008: A CENTURY IN DARLO Four Years on from its Premiere and it pulls a crowd of 99 to the Arts Centre - not bad going...thanks to all who came and bought DVDS !
29 JAN 2008: £14k TO REMOVE A TENT!
Despite planning permission being thrown out, Redcar & Cleveland Council proceeded to try and get Coatham protest camper Jimmy Willis barred from using Coatham common.
The judge ruled in the council's favour but only "to remove a tent". Jimmy can still use the land and could camp on it without a tent, if he wished and so can the public too! Jimmy was ordered costs of £1k as he is in temporary work and the council had to pay the rest - .£14k... for a tent that was actually nicked last Summer !!!