Crossing Saltwell Park on my way to the Theatre last night (where I am directing a play) I came across a life size inflatable replica of Stone Henge where normally there are a few flower beds and a assortment of dog walkers. Apparently, Jeremy Deller, the Turner prize winning artist has recreated Stone Henge as a bouncy castle as he likes to look at history ‘in a playful way.’ I discovered that the airy creation is a part of the London 2012 festival and is touring the country in a ‘rock’ star manner. The artwork is called ‘Sacrilege’ in order to anticipate the reaction of those sticklers who might be offended by such a concept.
Whilst I watched the public ricochet about the sacred circle, Tyne Tees the local TV station were interviewing Jeremy himself. He was explaining his artistic inspiration which allows us to interact with history in a different, more bouncy way. More children were then encouraged onto Stone Henge for a jolly good bounce about for the cameras. Incidentally, the work has an impeccable inflatables pedigree as it has been made by Richard Hopkins who invented the first ever bouncy castle in 1978.
|Richard explains the theory of bounce|
|Bounce that ancient monument!|
The real Stonehenge is extremely old, probably bronze age, and opinions are divided as to what it was actually for. Some say it had astrological or religious significance or was some kind of ancient burial ground. It remains popular with the Druid fraternity and with hippy revelers at the summer solstice, which is the only time tourists are now allowed to walk among the stones. Luckily Jeremy positively encourages walking or rather bouncing amongst his version of our very famous stone circle.
|Where’s that pesky Druid?|
I myself have never been to Stonehenge and I must say I thought it would be bigger. I’m not sure I need to bother with the real thing now…