Slow Motion Car Crash Day #31; Journey’s End

Little Golf has finally completed her time as an Artist’s muse with the  installation created by artist Jonathan Schipper coming to a close yesterday. For the last 31 days Little Golf has been travelling at 7mm per hour head long into a wall as part of the AV Festival here in the North East of England. Little Golf started looking like this….

and ended up like this….

Along with hundreds of other interested folk I’ve been popping by each week to chronicle Little Golf’s progress and on Friday I went along to the closing party to say farewell to the plucky little hatchback. She held her pose admirably while everyone gathered around, sipped glasses of bubbly and examined the final results.

So, Little Golf has been involved in a collision that would normally take place in seconds yet in this instance has lasted a whole month. What did the people of Newcastle make of all this. I spoke to Fluff, who has been one of the invigilators. She said that many people had wondered what the end result would mean. Was the car part of a crash test evaluation? Would the results be added to a car safety database. When Fluff explained it was in the name of art most people were intrigued by the concept of slowing down physical events.  Inevitably some were shocked by the wanton destruction while others felt their own car would have been better suited to the treatment rather than Little Golf. There were some people, she said, who had come in each day at the same time of the day and took a photo creating their own time-lapse film of the event. Fluff said the strangest part for her was spending the day with the car knowing it was crashing but not being able to see it.  But every now and then there would be a loud creak or a bang to remind her of the imperceptible movement.

Jonty Tarbuck and Hannah Kirkham of Locus + who commissioned the artwork were delighted with the response. “It really couldn’t have gone better” said Jonty although he did wonder what they were going to do with Little Golf now. “She might be cubed” he said “we’ll have to see what Jonathan says.”

It turned out that even Jonathan Schipper wasn’t sure of Little Golf’s fate. “Well it might just get scrapped or maybe cubed and placed on a pedestal.” Now I have to say that Jonathan, although serious about his art, has a permanent twinkle in his eye so he might have been pulling my leg about the pedestal bit.  I asked him what gave him the idea for the piece. “There wasn’t a light bulb moment, it just sort of evolved.” he said. ” I’ve always been interested in the transformation and the deterioration of things. How something can change over time but we just don’t notice.” I think the little kid in him likes a bit of destruction because he seemed  saddened by the lack of  damage to Little Golf’s interior. ” On previous pieces the windows have smashed out” he said almost wistfully.  But we both liked the fact that the Little Tree air freshener was still dangling from the rear view mirror.



Thank you so much to everyone who has stopped by the blog and passed comment on Little Golf’s journey into a shop wall. I’m afraid it’s back to elves now. Talking of which, the very lovely Jonathan Schipper has agreed to be “elfed”. So I’m off to get doodling.

But lets just say goodbye to Little Golf.




Slow Motion Car Crash; Day 20

No, I haven’t forgotten Little Golf. I popped by on my way home from work and this is what I was met with.






Just eleven days to go. I’ll check in on Little Golf later on in the week.


If you are not familiar with Little Golf’s story take a look here


SlowMotion Car Crash; Day 13

Day Thirteen; traditionally an unlucky number. And yes, Little Golf probably feels like the unluckiest hatch back on the planet. For those of you who don’t know her story it begins here.

Over twenty years of motoring and not even a scratch but look at her now.






And to commemorate Little Golf’s final journey she has her very own badge.



I shall wear it with pride.


Slow Motion Car Crash by Jonathan Schipper; Day 1

Tall Man has been involved with the installation of a piece of art work that is part of AV Festival. An international festival of Art, Technology, Music and Film,  As Slow as Possible is the North East contribution taking place throughout March in Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

Tall Man assisted American artist Jonathan Schipper with his piece Slow Motion Car Crash. In layman’s terms take one tidy G reg VW Golf, remove all innards that might cause leaks, set it up on a motorised track system in an empty shop window and at a speed of 7mm per hour head it into a wall. In artists speak “the work provides an alternative way of experiencing the world by slowing down physical events to almost imperceptible movement.”

This sweet little car sat quietly dozing on our drive for a week or so.  With barely a blemish to her twenty three year old body and a mere 75,000 miles on the clock she lived up to the slogan “if only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen”. Having given over two decades of faithful service as a modest little run around she was going to star in an international art festival. Be an artists muse. And not many hatch backs could say that. I hadn’t the heart to tell her the truth and each time I passed gave her a reassuring pat. A bit like rearing pigs for slaughter I decided against giving her a name.

But she’s all set up now in a clean white space. Spruced up and looking good, ready for the artist to work his magic. She has started her final journey and I have decided to record it.  I walk past the shop on my way to work so will take a photo each day and post it up. Stop motion cameras are rolling and microphones are set up in her interior with loud speakers projecting each and every sound she utters. Onlookers will be able to say “Yep, sounds just like a Golf.”

Slow Motion Car Crash day 1

Still wholesome!

These photos were taken this afternoon about 2pm. She’s just kissing the wall. I wonder what state she’ll be in tomorrow?

I’ll leave you with these final words taken from the AV Festival brochure; “With a dramatic inevitability that reflects our own mortality, over the course of the Festival month, the car is eventually destroyed.” Noooooooo!