23 Apr 2012
Challenge to SBS
Last week, SBS TV was running the velodrome championships. Blanket coverage. Australia did well and I got quite mesmerized by the rather robotic riders, circling the banked track.
I’ve never used racing as a a theme for my bike art. I guess this is because it’s so dominant in our bike culture that I’ve felt it needs no boost from the artist.
Moreover, with the standardized gear, their heads down, racers don’t give me much to work with.
The face is the mirror of the soul, someone said. Well you usually can’t see the face of the sports or racing cyclist, and so no soul searching is possible.
But here’s what came of my viewing. It was fun to try an entirely new theme
I like first conga line a bit better than this busier version of the same thing.
What do you think?
The riders do look like machines to me and so I made the most of that.
This theme, below, I also tried as a solar print. Here’s the lino cut version.
and here’s the solar print .
Whilst I enjoyed this foray into a new field, that’s enough.
I rushed back to doing what appeals, to where I could see faces, play with relationships, and celebrate the small moments of everyday biking, like this woman unlocking her bike.
That’s a solar print. With the help of my mentor, Leonard Matkervich, I’m now able to get the feel of a drawing into my solar prints.
Here is the same plate, printed so as to bring out the drawing aspects. Which do you like better?
This one is based on Saskia with a Dutch child added.
Here’s a relationship image. This woman, stepping off in Amsterdam , is in many other works of mine, and often given the cold shoulder.
But here she might be about to meet someone.
We’d had a demo in Sydney, Rolling with Clover, which called for riders to come in suits. The turnout was great, about 500, but few suits. It was organized by Jane Salmon
Riders in suits often turn up in my art. A dream of things to come I hope, shared by Saskia and her Sydney cycle chic blog.
This fattish man forever rides away from me and from the big bottomed lady, a frequent visitor in this art.
So, what’s this about a challenge to SBS?
I invite the network to spend some of their bike programming money on utility cycling,
Get out and meet cyclists who don’t want to go that fast, who get around in their normal clothes, just going the places they need to go.
No audience for such a show, for a one off documentary, a series, you say?
Done the focus group tests, have you, and found Australians just don’t see bikes as transport, or not in numbers that count for ratings?
Even if that’s true, there’s drama in such disinterest since it puts us so out of step with much of the world
Create an audience, SBS. You’ve built one for you endless parade of cooking shows.
You’ve done your little bit to create a nation now desperately needing to trim down. So, get them on bikes for some program, and body, balance
Let me be even more specific. Your off to the London Olympics soon, are you not?
Lot’s of build up programming is in the works, I’m sure as audience anticipation builds.
Well, how about an in depth doco on the Boris bikes, the 5000 public bikes named after Mayor, Boris Johnson, which are such a success.
And an unexpected success at that. No one predicted it. Can that really be of no interest here? Is it not the perfect balance to all that competing, winning, you are going over for?
Let’s ask the million dollar question. Why can London have a successful public bike scheme and we cant?
Why do the Melbourne and Brisbane schemes languish, and Sydney can’t even get started.
We can guess why. Well, let’s see SBS showing the courage to address that thorny issue instead of just sticking with the safe cycle wicket your now on.
Such a program can take us to the bike future we have to have, at least to talk about it.
Here, I’ve made my own little movie, The Return of the Speedwells, as a pump primer, grabbing a bit of your pzazz in passing.
Your turn now, SBS (from a fan)
Late Edition, this great site on how bike can change our economies which Violeta has sent me.