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Sunday, 8 May 2011

The strange case of Martin and Eliza Carthy, a bar and a limited edition David Owen print

The artist David Owen would be seen by some as a bit niche. To get the most from his work you have to know a bit about folk culture. Hence Morrissey Dancing.

I was down at Cecil Sharp House the other day, watching the support act for a remarkable show that involved two people wearing cows' heads with flashing white lights for eyes and two morris dancing horses as you do (the band was called FLK and may have been distantly related to the KLF), when I ran into Tim Plester, who wrote and directed the film Way of the Morris.

We were admiring the show, as well as the mural in the main auditorium and discussing the cardboard cut out of a morris dancing stormtrooper in the foyer, which was by David Owen, when Plester looked momentarily bereft, then a touch agitated.

"I was given one of the Morrissey dancers by David Owen at last year's 5,000 morris dancers event at the South Bank Centre," he frowned. "It was big - life sized, I don't know whether you've seen them. And when we went for a drink afterwards I had to leave it outside the bar.

"When I re-emerged I couldn't see it initially. But then off in the distance I spotted it, tucked under the arm of Martin Carthy, who was walking away with Eliza. Probably it looked as if it had been abandoned... So the first family of folk half-inched my limited edition David Owen designed, life-sized Morrissey dancing cutout. I've never told anyone that story before.

"Obviously I don't begrudge them the artwork if they're putting it to good use," he mused. "But if it's just sitting around in a garage or something I'd quite like it back again really."

I tried to contact Eliza and her management on Twitter and email to ask about it. If there are any developments I'll let you know...

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1 comment:

  1. I have just been made aware of the mystery of the stolen Morrissey dancer, can you tell Tim that the Morrissey cut out that Martin and Eliza put in my car was as far as we know the one David Owen signed and gave to me the night of the gig, Eliza was driving my car because I was 'on the ale' that night. I do vaguely remember going to the loo and leaving it out side, as does Eliza...when a switch may have happened. I can check once I am back in my studio to see if mine is signed, in which case it is the one David gave me. If it is not then some one has my signed copy (which I would like back please) and I may have taken Tim's by mistake if he is absolutely sure he actually saw us pick his one up?? People were half inching the cut outs all over the place that night. Regardless I am in contact with David and I will see if I can get Tim a replacement. I do understand these things have sentimental value. I will not rest till this case is solved
    simon the super sleuth


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