(Victor Clare, Mike Raven, Churton Fairman, NV Projects ‘Magnus Opus’, Peckham, 2013) is based on my research into the life and work of Churton Fairman (AKA Mike Raven 1924 - 1997) through a family connection which has given me access to unique footage of an elusive and remarkable man.
I’m intrigued by Raven’s eclectic life as a pioneer of pirate radio before BBC Radio1, who became a horror-movie actor then dedicated his later years to carving figurative sculpture whilst farming sheep on Bodmin Moor.
My work repositions the sculptural object as an historical artefact and a narrative device within film. By presenting Fariman’s sculpture as rotating images on screen, and as real sculpture supported by the monitor as plinth – the work flips between reality and illusion, physical form and its representation. Interestingly these tropes are echoed throughout Fairman’s life, moving from occultist enthusiast horror film actor to religious sculptor of erotic iconography.
The film clip from ‘The Crucible of Terror’ features Fairman as the protagonist – a megalomaniac sculptor called Victor Clare who literally casts women into bronze sculptures, immortalised through their own death. The third element of my assemblage presents a small wood carving by Fairman rotating on a 1960s record player. This is a wry nod to Fairman’s early career as a pirate radio DJ who introduced Deep South American Blues to a British audience for the first time.