Bidding Farewell to Glastonbury

Bidding Farewell to Glastonbury

Bidding Farewell to Glastonbury

This year, I had the great opportunity to contribute to the creation of a 6-meter-high sculpture in collaboration with Shangri-la. Crafted entirely from plywood, the sculpture came together in two distinct pieces.

My journey began in a nondescript warehouse tucked behind my studio. There, with the skilled assistance of Noel, a seasoned carpenter, we meticulously shaped the large 3D figures that would form the core of our creation. Among these figures were a 2.5-meter-tall sculpture of Jeff Bezos and two 1.5-meter sculptures representing Elon Musk and Bernard Arnold. The process spanned approximately a week, during which every curve and contour took shape.

As the grand opening approached, Abi and I embarked on a journey to Glastonbury. Our trusty hire van carried the three sculptures, snugly nestled within its confines. Our mission: to assemble them on-site, atop the 5-meter-high body that served as the pedestal for these notorious figures. However, upon arrival, we encountered an unexpected twist—the 3D body, initially envisioned as a semi-naked person on hands and knees, had been constructed 2D by the event team.

Undeterred, Abi and I set to work, wielding our paintbrushes with determination. The transformation was swift, and soon our creation stood resplendent against the backdrop of the unfolding event. As the gates opened to the general public, we reveled in the fruits of our efforts.

I lingered for a couple of nights, immersing myself in the overwhelming atmosphere of Glastonbury. The festival sprawled across the landscape, a pulsating tapestry of music, art, and human connection. Did anyone truly notice my sculpture? It’s hard to say. Yet, like much of my art, it will resonate with a select few and perhaps ruffle the feathers of the rest—precisely the effect I relish.

And lest you wonder about the piece’s enigmatic title, “Free Ride,” allow me to elucidate. In the words of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “You don’t make a billion dollars; you take a billion dollars.” Consider this: for someone earning a million-dollar salary, it would require a millennium to amass their first billion—or a staggering 20,000 years to reach 200 billion. The pursuit of wealth, it seems, is a marathon of cosmic proportions.

Whilst the media celebrates their achievements, shouldn’t the rest of us be questioning how these people got so rich? For every billionaire in our world; there are millions of people going without.

Free ride is an expression of the exploitation of workers by billionaires. 

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