‘Sculpture trail’ joker carves out a niche as he pokes fun at artistic pretension

On the Colne Valley 'sculpture trail'.  'Picture by Bruce Rollinson
On the Colne Valley 'sculpture trail'. 'Picture by Bruce Rollinson
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A LEAFLET promoting a spoof ‘sculpture trail’ which turns out to be a showcase of a dozen eyesores includes art critic-style commentaries attributed to fictional artists.

The promotional material for the “Colne Valley Sculpture Trail” highlights an abandoned bath in a field called Wash Behind the Ears, with the accompanying description: “Billing deals with the contradictory concepts of filth and cleanliness, typically by placing a familiar bathroom item in a countryside setting.

“Here, a bathtub is rendered repugnant by dirt, brambles, and a crude gash where the hot tap should be.”

Other peculiar pieces include a derelict house and a “border” made of non-matching fences.

The leaflet’s author, who created the trail near Huddersfield and who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “My inspiration was to do a piece of anonymous comedy. I liked the idea of printing the trail as a tourism leaflet, and leaving it lying about for people to pick up thinking it’s genuine, and gradually get the joke, and having no idea who did it or why.

“I hope more people see the ‘works’ for themselves – I think they could all potentially be real works of art, and the accompanying text is just a pop at the pretentious words displayed in galleries.”