A bouncy inflatable Stonehenge comes to Marlborough -- thanks to Boris Johnson
An inflatable life-sizes bouncy castle version of Stonehenge is coming to Marlborough for a unique one-day visit on the Common on Friday, June 29, as part of a celebratory pre-Olympics tour of the country.
Called Sacrilege, the jokey art work, created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, is set to travel to London from Scotland as well as to a total 25 locations around the country and in the capital.
And everyone, especially children at 18 Wiltshire schools who have been told about the one-off event, will be able to enjoy it -- for free -- partly thanks to Boris Johnson, the dashing Mayor of London.
“This amazing event is imminent,” Marlborough’s mayor, Councillor Edwina Fogg, announced at a meeting of the town council’s planning committee last night (Monday). “People will be gobsmacked when they see it.”
She revealed that she had a call from Boris Johnson’s office last week informing her that Marlborough had been specially chosen to receive Sacrilege so that the art work could have a “homecoming” in the county of Wiltshire -- where the real Stonehenge exists.
“The fact that it will be on our Common is thanks to archaeologist and Marlborough resident Mike Pitts, who contacted me weeks ago about the possibility,” she pointed out. “He has an added personal interest as he has played a part in excavations taking place at Stonehenge.”
A co-commission between Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and the Mayor of London, the inflatable Stonehenge proved to be enormously popular when, supported by Creative Scotland, it appeared in Glasgow earlier this year. Now, with support from Arts Council England it will now travel around the country as part of London 2012 Festival -- this Thursday it will ‘pop up’ for the first time at the National Botanic Garden, in Carmarthenshire, to mark the opening day of the London 2012 Festival.
And its travels around the UK will finish at Preston Guild on September 9, the last day of the Paralympic Games and London 2012 Festival, the transient monument having travelled to Redruth, Exeter, Marlborough, Peterborough, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Gateshead, Milton Keynes, Bristol, and Belfast, plus 14 locations in different boroughs across London.
Jeremy Deller says: “A lot of my work deals with history, and Sacrilege is no exception, this is a way to get reacquainted with ancient Britain with your shoes off.”
In London, Sacrilege is being presented by Mayor Boris and the London 2012 Festival as part of Surprises, which sees the bouncy castle version suddenly appearing at different locations.
“You don't have to be a specialist in ancient British history or an acolyte of the summer solstice ritual to be aware of the unending fascination that Stonehenge continues to inspire around the world,” Boris declares.
“Jeremy Deller's Sacrilege is a wonderfully witty, quite literal leap into that history and a fantastic example of the irreverence that are hallmarks of our great British humour and our incomparable artists.”
“I have no doubt it will be a great hit with Londoners as well as visitors to the capital.”
And Alan Davey, chief executive, Arts Council England, adds: “Deller’s playful and irreverent work is bound to capture the hearts, minds and inner-child of people across the country, and I’m delighted the Arts Council has been able to help make this fun-filled tour happen.”
“Sacrilege pleasing the crowds once more marks the start of a summer that I hope will be remembered as much for the excitement of its cultural experiences as for its sporting victories.”
As Sacrilege moves across the country the growing tribe of followers is being encouraged to “offer their images to the gods” by uploading photos of themselves on the installation onto Flickr to create gigantic on-line clan.
To check opening times and local weather conditions for each venue, members of the public should follow Sacrilege on Twitter to receive updates direct from the heavens @Sacrilege2012.