On my recent journey in the States I travelled through Albuquerque and Flagstaff. Part of my shooting series while in the US was to find old motel signs and other roadside paraphernalia to make some grids or Typologies of them. In Flagstaff and in Albuquerque I took long walks and photos of the signs, some new, some dilapidated and in ruins. On Route 66 I was spoiled by the goodly amount of crumbling yet surviving 1940’s structures that once set the night ablaze with neon messages. I came across a ‘poetry sign’, next to a car parking lot on Central Ave. in Albuquerque. On the ‘front’ I was delighted by some seemingly random words, “SHIVA ARMED OCEAN CREATURE WASH MY CAR AND SOUL” on the ‘back’ of the structure was a web address: http://friendsoftheorphansigns.org I was instantly struck by the wonderful sentiment and vision behind the concept of utilising ‘orphan’ signs as democratic, public, site specific art. Their website is an inspiration.
I promised myself that when I returned to the UK I would do a little something with the images I took and am therefore posting the following typology picture which utilises the photographs and a one word ‘poem’, which can be read as an instruction, or a title to the piece. Thanks to ‘Friends of the Orphan Signs’ for their inspiration and more power to their collective elbow. Now then – time to find some orphan signs in London. Anyone know of any?