Painting the Town…


I found out a few weeks ago that the origin of the saying “Paint the Town Red”  which I saw taking on a literally meaning in High Plains Drifter (1972) has roots in my home county. The town of Melton Mowbray to be more specific.

It is said that year is when the Marquis of Waterford and a group of friends ran riot in the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray, painting the town’s toll-bar and several buildings red.

If the history is correct or not in terms of origin of the phrase, it does change the my perception of the phrase which is known today more for having a good night out. Going back to the film which the man with no name Clint Eastwood ordered the town of Lagos painted red, and renamed Hell. Which this bright tone of red does conjure up.

The idea that a colour in block form can change the tone of a location is something I want to look at in a future piece. My initial thoughts are to build a model set that’s painted white, before being re-lit in different light. Being initial this would be a quick response that would ignore colour theory, the power that certain colours create and signify. I may even make a few trip to Melton, making a site-specific piece. It’s very early days and I have a few other pieces that have been quietly waiting to take form in the studio. My next piece could be a performance I made earlier this year. I need to see how that works out. Also I am considering a piece that pits both John Wayne and Clint Eastwood against each other.

Before any of those ideas can go any further than my head I need to complete my short film as the new year begins.

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