Bob Follen was eight when he began collecting “Pink Floyd bits”. Now aged 40, he spent 14 months researching for ‘Oink’, first shown at Louder Than Words, the large music literary festival based in central Manchester, in November. It’s now ‘on tour’ and is currently based at Halifax Central Library and Archives.
Follen said: “The idea behind ‘Oink’ is to 1) Do It For Real. There are collectors clubs and photos of everything online, but where can you actually go and see a Pig, stage equipment or handwritten notes. So “Oink” is about creating an opportunity for people to see the real, rarest items “In The Flesh”. Definitely show the items that people don’t expect to see.
“2) Look at Pink Floyd In The North. Using local studies offices and archives, to research places connected to the Pink Floyd story. Did you know, for instance, that when the band played in Queen’s Hall in Leeds in very early 1967, it was the furthest North the band had ever travelled. For the concert at Bradford University in 1971, they had only just arrived back in the UK from completing the on-location shots for the ‘Live At Pompeii’ film. The railway sequences from ‘The Wall’ movie from 1982 were filmed in Keighley and Haworth.
“3) Climate. These items are very rare, and with changes in temperature and the risk of flooding, these could be lost forever. So it really is about getting them out now. This applies to venues as well. Many of which are now no longer standing.
“Also you might say ‘I Hate Pink Floyd’, but there is always another element that could be of interest, design, cultural studies, writing, engineering, film, sound, fashion etc. A library is a really good stepping stone to access all of that information. The library in Halifax has pulled together a reading list connected to the band.
Follen added: “I live in Todmorden, and have been there for almost ten years. Sharing ‘Oink’ at Central Library, has been great so far, and the Staff have been really supportive. Both Pink Floyd and the Library contain space, stories and adventures, that you can get inspired by, and lost in.
“In the new year ‘Oink’ will be going elsewhere (hopefully more dates around the north), and the information will change, to make it more relevant and specific to each new area. Which makes people engage with the elements even more.”
The exhibition is runs until December 21, and admission is free.
It includes two large Pink Floyd information boards, looking at ‘Pink Floyd In The North’, plus a 16-minute slideshow complete with Pink Floyd soundtrack.
Follen said: “On Saturday (10am-3pm) I appear with the rare French ‘Animals’ promo Pig and assorted rarer cuts, to answer any questions. Also available on the Saturday is a selection of exhibition-based cards, postcards and prints.”