Ilfracombe doesn’t do irony

For the first time in many years I’m not working and it’s early Spring Bank Holiday weekend. If my memory serves me right (and as you know if you read my blog it might not) it was as a result of falling out with Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza that perhaps fifteen years ago resulted in the same thing.

This time I don’t mind really.  It’s wet and cold and Llandudno in the wet is not nice.  I really need a good three day event I can snuggle up with over the next few years.  I went through Upton on Severn in Worcestershire on Saturday with a lovely event in full swing.  It looked very busy and seemed to be a folk festival if the number of Morris dancers I saw is anything to go by. And very close to the Three Counties Showground the home of the Malvern Spring Garden Festival where I am next week.  So a nice gentle fifteen minute drive from one to the next.  Sounds my sort of plan. They have a website and some contacts so Marketing Letter One on its way… Isn’t it so great we can just find out these things and make contact with the right people so quickly?

Here I am sitting in a lorry park in Ilfracombe and I can post this blog and send emails to potential customers and all before I’ve even got dressed. I love my life.

So yes I’m in Ilfracombe drumming up support for the Kickstarter project which ends next week and still has a way to go.  There’s still time to give if you haven’t yet. 

Even a small pledge would be very welcome and the event is going to be superb and needs supporting. It’s a strange parochial little place rather stuck in Victorian ways and still refusing to believe it’s in the twentieth let alone the twenty-first century.  One of the twenty-first century icons of the place has become Damien Hurst’s controversial and dominating bronze of a pregnant woman holding a vast sword aloft over the harbour.  Half her bulging belly is cut away to reveal the growing baby as is half her face, but from some angles she looks whole. It is a very impressive statement and has been given the name Verity.  I think there may be some theme emerging from it, truth maybe? Many local people hate her and the apparent ease with which she found her way to the location. (Damien lives locally and invests in local projects.  Not yet, sadly, ours)

So overall she stirs up opinions.  Maybe that’s what art should do. I wanted to tie the idea into the Victorian Celebration in some way and the event needs a logo.  Hence the emergence of the brief for the logo for my Victorian Verity and the result below above a photo of the original.  Although I think because ours is Victorian she is actually the original inspiration for Damien’s version.  In my dreams anyway.

The reaction from the committee was interesting.  The Chairman said that Ilfracombe ‘doesn’t do irony’.  Several disapproved because they thought that a pregnant young Victorian woman in a bathing costume would never have been seen in Victorian times. Ah well perhaps he’s right about the irony, certainly amongst members of the committee.  I don’t really mind.  I like being on the edge.  As well you know.

Listening to the wonderful Grayson Perry on Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week’ talking about gender.  Great stuff.  I might just change my mind again about Mr Alexander stepping out in a frock.  If I am going to be damned for irony I might as well go the whole hog and be thoroughly damned.  Ilfracombe would definitely be the place to do it.

All the best from a road near you,

Mr Alexander

Mr Alexander