I’m so glad today to make public this video, “Seaside Town”, from “The Ghost Bus” project, with the participation of Bartons Plc and Act Group. It’s one of the two short films I created after my visit at Bartons Plc, in the former bus depot in High Rd, Chilwell-Beeston, in Nottingham (UK). I was deeply impressed by one of the oldest buses, the so called “Ghost Bus”, a piece of history of English public transport: a URR 865 vehicle AEC Reliance made in 1956! Simon Barton me that a vehicle-sister of the bus was documented in 1959 on a wonderful film of a Bartons Road Cruise Holiday taken in Italy in 1959. The film is in glorious Kodachrome colour made by professional film maker Bill Freeman.
I was stricken by the story of Bartons Buses. They were the first bus company to have continental holidays by coach and also they had heaters on their pre-war Leylands. And Bartons was the first company to provide their drivers and conductors with a uniform fit for them to go to church in… As “The Nottingham Post” stated: “ There’s only one Turbine Hall, and it’s in Tate Modern in London. But if Nottingham has an equivalent then it would have to be the former Bartons bus depot in Chilwell, where a history of labour and bare concrete and metal provide an appropriate backdrop for sprawling exhibitions such as Carnival of Monsters”.
So I began to create, processing and selectin’ hundreds of pictures I took that day (October 2014) around the old bus… Trasforming and turning pictures of ripped and decomposed publicity posters (on outdoor billboards), natural and random cracks and scratches, industrial crevices and deteriorations into “art subjects”. This is the aim (and the challenge) of my research-action (named “Lacer/actions”) which investigates, analizes and exploits the in-credible dimension of decomposition, decay, degradation and mutation of outdoor advertisings, urban structures and industrial materials, as The Ghost Bus.
My whole concept is “making art” from industrial deconstructionism, caught on camera, on macro scale. My shots actually capture the randomness of deconstructionism, letting the picture tell the story. I catch and document the reality. And I don’t change what I see. There’s nothing contrived, or worked in… I love showing what I see. I always catch the flakes of paint in their true state and experience the environment while I’m shooting the pictures. Yes, I know that many people spend hours trying to create in Photoshop, preferring to manipulate images to their preconceived ideas. They construct what the viewer sees, whereas I prefer to allow the viewer to construct their own conclusions about the pictures.
THE TWO SHORT FILMS
For the first film “Epic Voyage”, which lasts 13 minutes, I choose a powerful and stately soundtrack composed and performed by Audiomachine. The flow of images are grouped into four themes (Maps, Lands, Horizons and Skies), they are illustrated by a number of citations on the ‘journey’, penned by great authors of world literature, from Kerouac to Hemingway.
The second film is 6 minutes in length and entitled “Seaside Town”. It is set to a soundtrack composed, arranged and performed by Simon, Richard, James and Tom Barton, who have participated with great enthusiasm in the project. Their soundtrack is emotive and highlights the human history of this vehicle and the hundreds of thousands of miles the bus travelled bringing pleasure to so many people.
For these short films I worked on details and particulars. Few centimeters of rusty iron surface reveal palettes of landscapes, dawns and sunsets. Or – as I’d like to say – the revolt of the skies… I think that every image may be considered a sort of a singular visual artwork. That’s the reason why, for the “Seaside Town” film, I choose to show them in frames, while splashes of watercolors dot the background of the pics, creating a colorful kaleidoscope effect.
We made “The Ghost Bus” experience not for a commercial purpose. We did it for the joy to create, to tell and to share, building bridges of collaboration and friendship between people, Countries and the world wide web. Since the moment we started to put on line some pics, flyers, cards series and video trailers, lot of people across the world have been expressing, thinking and commenting on the Ghost Bus project. This is the power of visual and musical arts. This is the wonder of a family history, the Bartons. This is the beauty of what human beings can do through creativity and mutual cooperation.
My warmest thanks to those who made possible these dream and project: Simon Barton and his family, Richard, James and Tom, Fiona barton, Jeanie Barton, Marysia Zipser, founder of Act Group, to fellow bloggers and journalists who supported the two films premieres we had in Chilwell (March 2015) end on Mount Amiata (Piancastagnaio, Siena) in Tuscany (October 2015). As I quoted in the Ghost Bus short film, “the road never ends…”