8 Sep 2010

Ar Chaos on the Thames

A retrospective of the world of legendary French circus Archaos was launched tonight as part of the Mayor's Thames Festival. My work is the centre piece of the show but I couldn't afford the fare to London to give a first hand account of the audience's reaction. I'd have liked to meet the old performers again and recollect the days of diesel fumes and cunning stunts.
 The following is a selection of press/ publicity cuttings featuring my images:

The Guardian on-line

The Independent
The Stage

Mark Borkowski's Blog

Guardian paper
Free Art London

Coin Street



Thames Festival on-line









8 Aug 2010

iPhone app

The iPhone app is working and is the model for the Big Issue 'biopic' app. With the support and coverage of the magazine it is hoped that the app will attract sponsorship which will in turn go towards funding a Big Issue Foundation in Scotland.

You can download the app by entering www.m.gavinevans.com into Safari and then adding the app to your 'home screen'.


1 Aug 2010

A Fare Cop

Sunday Herald Magazine

 I was between interviews for the post of Photographer in Residence with the National Theatre of Scotland- grilled by photographer David Eustace before being roasted by Roberta Doyle, Head of External Affairs. In the interlude I'd arranged to meet Barrie who was accompanied by vendors Scott and Rab. We were on our way from the Big Issue office in the Saltmarket to their pitches when police appeared from out of the blue and pulled us aside. The boys were drinking on the street- an offence in these parts of Glesga. Barrie shrugged off the incident- he'd amassed a pyre of fines. The belt around the policemen's waists drew my attention. The usual tools dangled; telescopic truncheons, cuffs and mace- nothing out of the ordinary. It was the taser and pistol that jolted my senses. Armed police handing out tickets to alcoholics- a sobering thought.

It's a fare cop!


9 Jul 2010

biopic 02 chapter 11

Barrie appears better. The swelling from the beating has subsided but the whites of his eyes tell their own story.













8 Jun 2010

Appleby and Pomegranate



Pre Appleby Gypsy gathering, Teesside
I’d planned to celebrate my birthday visiting Appleby Fair with Barrie. For years I’ve had the intention of attending the UK’s biggest gathering of Gypsy travellers. Barrie was glad of the invite and the chance to escape Glesga for a day or two. The night before we were due to leave I called him on the phone to firm arrangements. He was distraught, he couldn’t face living and the thought of the trip was the furthest thing from his mind. A couple of weeks ago he was been beaten within an inch of his life- another case of mistaken identity. Three men muscled their way into his home and taught him a lesson he couldn’t comprehend. None of my cagoling could permeate, let alone lift his depression. Barrie was drowning his sorrows in a sea of discount lager. The phone dropped from his hand and he went silent. All I could hear was the white noise of pedestrians and Tannoys- he was slumped in the entrance of Central Station.  
 I found him the next day roaming aimlessly in the rain. In the car he broke down. If asked him, if he had the choice, where would he want to be right there and then? It was my birthday and we were going to make good. His sister’s home in Hamilton sprang instantly to mind- the sanctity of the family nest. By the warmth of his sister's hearth he regained his strength and complained about his aching shoulder. Barrie had fallen down a flight of stairs the week before while attempting to cold turkey- the shock to this system resulted in a fit. Pulling on a shirt was agony. His injuries spread over his back like the flesh of a peeled pomegranate- back in the car.



After an hour at the local A and E Barrie appeared with his arm in a sling- he had fractured his shoulder.


 
We'll try again next year.



30 Apr 2010

The Plaid Truth


Terry (Gilliam) gave my kid a pearl of wisdom, he warned him to “stay away from men in plaid.” Mindful of Terry’s caveat we (the Afro-Celt contingency of the family and me) set course for the Kingdom of Fife. Cousin Kate was getting hitched and the Kirkaldy clans would be on parade.


 Sure enough, the picture-perfect setting overlooking the Firth of Forth was awash with plaid. Here plaid is ‘tartan,’ skirts are called ‘kilts’ and furry fanny-packs are ‘sporrans’. This brazen contravention of norms doesn’t emasculate or feminise the wearer. Scots aren’t tough, they’re hardened - tempered by the squalls that gnaw beneath the hemline. It is on these occasions that I’m reminded of my Anglo-Saxon roots - to be in the pants-wearing minority still feels curiously alien.
  This was the perfect opportunity for some recreational ‘touch.’ For months I have been focusing on the gated comfort zones of the homeless and the vulnerable. Today could see my hand penetrating personal space and making contact – touching.


Kate and Isobel bride and mother


Brian and Bill groom and father


Julie and Dawn handmaidens

Darren and Ross


Liz and Molly


Margaret and Ruth sisters


Sulaima and Omar siblings


Chantalle and Natasha


Finlay and Skye




The contents of their sporrans.














Now I come to think of it, when Terry gave his advice he was wearing a poncho- a plaid poncho.

23 Apr 2010

The Office



touch: Kamikaze

Kamikaze felt a firm affinity towards Barrie- they'd scaled the walls of the same dead end streets. This was their last chance to meet before Kamikaze set sail for the South Pacific.
  On the Saltmarket Kamikaze’s smile didn’t fail to mesmerise. Before reaching Barrie’s pitch we heard an almighty stichie coming from around the corner. It was Barrie hollering at his foe-pal Andy to get a “faaken’ moove aan.” 



touch: Andy

Barrie glided towards us like a speed-skater on quicksand. Kamikaze and I stood our ground – he’d have passed through us if I hadn’t put my hand out.




The two embraced like re-conjoined twins - estranged spirits reunited. We escorted Barrie to his pitch and took in some of the city’s salacious sights...


touch: Gordon

Gordon softly wraps his words in Welsh, his voice is a tonic for the guttural assault of Glaswegian. He is a street sage who stands incongruously outside a cosmetic surgeons – one hand swaddled like an amputee, the other clutching a copy of The Big Issue. Gordon is up to chapter 14 of his autobiography – he’s writing it in longhand. He is fond of the staff at the surgery; their respect for one another is reciprocated, they’d never move him on.
  As we parted our ways Gordon vowed he’d always remember Kamikaze’s “wonderful smile.”


 
The Office

Barrie retraced his steps to one of his off-street drinking dens.
 The suffocating stench of stale ale and piss chokes your senses when you enter ‘The Office.’ The city-centre siding is a convenience-refuge for sub-urban abusers. 


The Office, a shooting gallery where users steal a moment to refuel, is adorned with some of the most eclectic street art found his side of the Camp Nou. 



 Kamikaze concluded, after taking only a few hours to establish a life-long friendship, that Barrie had a “wonderful spirit. 
 We left Barrie to sober-up and set off in search of an unsuspecting all-you-can-eat buffet. Proprietors wince when they see Kamikaze’s metal masticators enter the restaurant. Kamikaze takes ‘All You Can Eat’ personally - he sees it as a challenge to his consitution. He’s barred from sushi bars in Austria for consuming his bodyweight in fish roe and Curry’s eletrical stores for grazing on the halogens. Tonights unsuspecting prey would be a regular curry house.




Constitution restituted and gorged to gouchin’ point, we set the GPS for Govan.
 On Paisley Road Toll the stifled strains of the Verve’s melancholic anthem The Drugs Don’t Work escaped the walls of a fortress bar. Inside the nae-go pub, a straw-bleached blonde with an inseparable grip on the mic was spilling her bleeding heart over a cranked-up karaoke. The sublime soundtrack was the perfect accompaniment to a dreich Govan nicht. This was her moment, and she made it her own.



 The Grand Ole Opry is a cultural haven in the heart of Orange County - all colours and faiths are welcome here. Inside its muralled walls we’re safe from harm - save the occasional burst eardrum, tongue lashing and scathing wit. We’d come to shoot stragglers I’d missed on previous outings. I bagged myself (from top): a showman, a Greek gunslinger, a German Cowgirl and a Duke of Hazard – something for the connoisseurs.


touch: Sandy

touch: Michael


touch: Eva


 touch: Alan
 
We left Glesga with our ears ringing to the sound of laughter, gunshot and the unsung chantreuse fae Govan echoing “I know I’ll see your face again...”



Gateway to the Pyramids of the M8 - and home.