Before I settled on making drawings as the primary way of making art works, I tended to take lots of photographs of similar images. I have a Facebook group called Found Paintings and Sculptures which is a legacy of this sort of activity. Two other works – Reading the Bible in Hotel Rooms and Gallery Fountains – can be found on dedicated blogs. These two works are ongoing and open-ended, though I only add to them sporadically.
Another work – Abbey Roads – has neither a blog nor a Facebook page. It was started in those pre-social media days and I hadn’t yet worked out how to use Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms to disseminate work properly. I did have a website onto which I loaded images as and when I collected them. The following text is from the page of the now defunct website that was dedicated to the project. It outlines my motivation for starting the work:
This piece started as a way of returning to art making using collecting as a methodology. I was living, when I started, in Abbey Wood in South London. There was an Abbey Road close to us and I wondered how many more there were in the country. For a brief while it could have been Downing Street or Coronation Street. I figured that there would be too few of the former and too many of the latter.
The are over 130 Abbey Roads in England. I have spent the last few years photographing all of them. Aside from one on Tresco (on the Scilly Isles), I completed the collection on 26th May 2011.
131 Abbey Roads were exhibited as part of Bath Fringe Festival in 2011.
It’s grown out of a piece about something being ‘first among equals’ into something that plays with the idea of similarity and difference, while doubling as a sort of portrait of England.
Why just England? Well, the famous one – the first among the equals – is English, as were the people who made it famous. If I did Wales, which would be possible, I’d have to do Scotland (trickier, based on where I live) and Northern Ireland (almost impossible). Perhaps when I’ve finished this, I’ll keep an eye out.
I’m going to add the individual photographs to this post over the next week or two, but for now this large composite image and the GIF at the top of the post will have to suffice. And if you spot that there;s one missing, I’m not sure I want to know. I think that some new Abbey Roads have been built since I started the project, but my practice has moved on…
If you are interested in buying a digital print of 131 of the Abbey Roads (the 132nd was discovered after I made the print. Sorry), then please leave a comment to that effect with contact details on this blogpost or email me directly at bryan (dot) eccleshall (a) virgin (dot) net.
There are only ten posters left, from an edition of twenty-five. They are 596 x 422 mm in size and cost £25 plus p+p. I will ship worldwide but the postage will reflect that. All posters are shipped in a tube. Payment is via PayPal only.