Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Sam Hatton Commemorative Flag

The appearance of a new Fleydon flag is always cause for comment, but the recent unveiling of Sam's Missile at the Tempest End was a event tinged with a hint of confusion and a dab of anti-climax. Originally commissioned as part of the HardBack Dons Sam Hatton 21st Birthday Celebration Package its triumphal unveiling at the St Albans game was intended as the centrepiece of a days festivities that would have included fireworks, choral works and the distribution of alms to the deserving needy of St. Albans, the Hatton home town. However inclement weather caused havoc with the planning and both the game and the majority of the celebrations were abandoned.

The Hayes & Yeading evening game was not considered an appropriate occasion for the unveiling and it was felt that the disappointment of this decision led in part to Sam having one of his quieter games of the season.

The honour of the unveiling fell to Bath City and its eventual arrival was greeted with a near frenzy of excitement and a powerful surge, only narrowly restrained by the stewards, as Hatton well-wishers saught to obtain a first glimpse of the work. Radio WDON also picked up on the excitement, but their poor viewing position led to some confusing comments being broadcast to listeners around the globe with regard to both form and content, not unlike the confusion around the London 2012 Olmpic logo and Lisa Simpson.

Following the match we were able to snatch a few words with Fleydon about his latest opus:

A&AR: Fleydon, first of all congratulations on the result but I must say this is a bit of a departure for you isn't it?
Fleydon: I assume you refer to the lack of badge or AFC symbolism? Well as this was really a work celebrating an individual that seemed slightly superfluous and would have over-crowded an already visually rich work. But I should point out that it's an artistic departure in other ways as well, in as much as it celebrates a current player; employs a moody, atmospheric colour scheme (when I usually favour a bright, high visibility format) and is daring in its use of perspective and narrative comment. It really does make demands of the viewer.
A&AR: I must say when the word was out that you were working on commission for a birthday flag the expectation was that you would make some reference to the birthday itself. Obviously you considered that?
Fleydon: Of course, but I dismissed that almost immediately. I am an artist, not a Hallmark Cards Dedication Writer and I was determined to focus on aspects of Sam that were for ever, not just for a day. In light of his recent free-kick prowess that seemed a suitable area for artistic exploration.
A&AR: Sam's Missile? Is that a pun?
Fleydon: Less pun, more analogy. One strong memory I have from the news when growing up was the importance of SAM Missiles in modern warfare - SAM standing for Surface to Air Missile of course. Our campaign also relies to a degree on our own SAM missile, although we hope that it goes Surface to Air to Net I suppose, rather than touching orbit*
A&AR: So we are looking at the 'Target' goal from behind the net - a Tempest View as it were - and are observing the ball eluding the outstretched fingers of a baffled keeper. And what of the gun sight?
Fleydon: The gun sight represents Sam Hatton's mental processes when sizing up the ball. A complex mathematical process takes place within his brain which results in the perfect strike - occasionally. I can't do complex mental processes so I did a gun sight instead. Clever stuff eh? The work also has this dark and sombre feel to it. Foreboding and inevitable, these are the emotions of the opposing players and supporters when facing defeat by 'SAMAGEDDON'
A&AR: Some have commented on the interesting use of a graffiti typeface. Any reason for that?
Fleydon: Well Sam's quite a young man and I believe that graffiti is quite hip in certain areas. It shows defiance and an anti-establishment stance that goes well with his image of a swashbuckling, carefree ne'er do well, swaggering his way through games. And it made a bit of a change for me of course.
A&AR: Well we here at Art & Artists Review wish both you and Sammy Hatton the very best for the rest of the season and all the more success for Sam and his Mighty Missile.

*Wags who noted the orbital potential of Sam's first free kick of the game may well have made comments of the 'Sam's Miss-by-a- Mile' variety but should be aware that a strike ration of 1 in 5 is considered a decent return in most circles