On a visit to Glasgow in 1977 I noticed, at the junction of Scott Street and Sauchiehall Street, a brick wall into which was set a fragment of an old brick archway. It turned out to be part of the original structure of the Hippodrome home of Hengler’s Circus, which occupied this site from 1904 to 1924. Research in Glasgow revealed it to have been a magic world. Just a few yards away from the everyday reality of Sauchiehall Street, Hengler’s motor-powered sinking circus ring would convert the arena into a ten feet deep lake within minutes, into this lake horses plunged from great heights. Red Indians shot the rapids in canoes and came under withering fire from cowboys lying in ambush, dams were burst, reservoirs dynamited, bridges blown up, ships smashed to pieces by tidal waves. The very names of the spectacles Hengler staged are evocative in themselves: ‘Mexico’, ‘Eldorado’, ‘Silver Falls’, ‘Many Waters’, ‘The Sioux’, ‘The Witchpool’.
As a little homage to that spirit of magic I made a series of large silkscreen prints on fabric called Circus, and a related series of photomontages and collages, of which this is one.
Cratylus The English Artist and The Word, The British Council, London 1979
- Accession Number P3702
- Dimensions 40 X 34.7 CM
- Media PHOTO-MONTAGE, TEXT AND ACETATE ON CARD