Sunday 13 February 2011

AFC Wimbledon - The King of Clubs

If Terry Brown and his men came up trumps against an in-form York side then the ace in the hole might well have been Fleydon's latest offering "AFC Wimbledon - King of Clubs". The similarity of the figure to an earlier incarnation of Sam Hatton (sans headband) was another fortunate coincidence as his proved the only goal of a gripping game. When we approached Fleydon for some insights into his latest work we were surprised at his tranquil, almost other-worldly vacant stare and demeanour. He looked us straight in the eye. And this is what he said.

"Friends, the inspiration for this particular piece was the recent defeat to Woking. A young man was late for the game that day and  took his place on the terrace just as the whistle blew to begin the contest. To the consternation of his neighbours he pulled out a pack of cards and began to riffle through the deck. It wasn't long before he was approached by a volunteer steward who pulled him aside and enquired of his use of the deck during such an important game. She chided him for not reading the Official Programme and threatened to move him into the John Smith's to stand amidst the stale aroma of stale urine, so grievous was her slight. Now that young man never blanched nor turned away. He looked her in the eye, and in a soft voice said 

'Ma'm, I have just arrived and had no money left to purchase an Official Programme, but I have my faithful deck here and this tells me all I need to know. Let me explain and I think you'll see..."

He pulled out the deck of cards and spread them in front of her. Gazing deeply into her eyes he lifted up each card in turn.

"The Ace" he began "reminds me of Danny Kedwell, his goals and captaincy.

When I hold the Two it recalls the average number of legs each Wimbledon player possesses
The Three recalls to mind the trinity of Cash, Bass and Brown
When I am hungry the Four is the number of Kingsmeadow caterers in the last six years
The Five reminds me of the five regular matchday buys - the Official Programme, the WUP, Golden Goal, miscellanous raffle ticket and Terry's badge
The Six is the average number of cruciate ligaments snapped in a season
and following on the Seven are the players on Mike Rayners Injury notes
The Eight reminds me of  '88, the year of cup triumph and the number of pages of adverts in the programme
Nine are the number of Holy Saints on the Dons Trust board
The Ten is the number of overhit corners I can look forward to each match
The Jack is, of course, the Devil. Who, lest we forget, is also a Don.
When I see the Queen it reminds me of the Wombelles and their joy of all things pink
And finally above them all the King - AFC Wimbledon, the King of all Clubs."

He paused momentarily and his eyes glistened with emotion. Then he continued.

"You may recall that there are four suits and that remind me of Ryman League officials, which was also the number of biscuits each suit was allowed in a disciplinary meeting,
The total number of spots is 365, which is the number of attendees at the matchday carvery
There are 52 cards in total, which is, of course, Crawley's usual away support at Kingsmeadow
And finally I can see thirteen tricks, the number of step-overs in a Christian Jolley run.

So you see Ma'm, I have no need of a programme for I have all I need right here"

Well, as he had finished his tale both the steward and all the supporters in the Tempest were in tears. Woking and their duo of ex-Dons had just scored their third and The Cards were through to the next round. And I know that this is the truth for friends, I am that supporter and this flag is here to remind me of all those memories, should I ever lose my precious deck of cards"
Supporters bow their heads in prayer as the AFC Wimbledon 'Deck of Cards' is recited
We at the 'Art & Artist Review' do not consider ourselves to be overly cynical, but our long dealings with Fleydon have taught us the value of caution in taking his words at face value. On returning to the office extensive research turned up this little gem from 1959. Having watched it in its entirety It would seem that Fleydon's whole story was less a pack of cards than a pack of lies and his artistic integrity is little more than a busted flush. 

Still it is a nice flag that would grace any fridge magnet so we must conclude that it is not entirely without merit.

Wink Martindale - Deck of Cards (1959)

Monday 6 December 2010

TV Review: Adrian Chiles Salutes The Genius Of Fleydon

Art on the television is always a problematic exercise so your reviewer was intrigued at the possibilities of a populist Saturday morning show on ITV.  Current affairs guru Adrian Chiles had dropped in with an ITV film crew charged with the the difficult task of capturing the latest Fleydon exhibition as part of a new 'live' arts-based documentary. For Fleydon himself televisual exposure added the extra dimension of complexity to his work "I work on two dimesnional surfaces which flutter and play on the breeze in a three dimensional environment. To have them re-viewed and relayed in to the two dimensional world of television frankly confuses me."

These subtlties of nuance were obviously beyond the grasp of the presenter. No true critic himself - and with a literalist style of interpretation - Chiles was obviously seduced by some of the larger works and concentrated his attentions on these whilst quite missing the exquisite gems scattered between. Defective recording equipment prevents us showing the full clip, but these two portions give some idea of the reverential tones in which Chiles approached this cathederal of art, this Tempest of creativity...
The overall look of the Tempest gallery as seen on national television was deemed to be more than satisfactory and we can only hope that the viewers felt a shiver down their spines similar to that experienced by watching Brunowski's Ascent of Man or Clark's Civilization for the first time. Following the Reithian mission statement to Educate & Inform, ITV must also be congratulated on their achievement on this particular day, even if the BBC would have been perhaps a little more probing in their analysis
To clebrate the exhibition and to provide an entertaining 'fore-drop', a football match was arranged between Stevenage and a representative team from AFC Wimbledon to entertain the crowds between viewings. However this was found to be too tempting a distraction for some of the less artistically- inclined cameramen whose attention would stray from art onto the pitch, and we would suggest this arrangement be reviewed in future. Otherwise Art & Artist Review' found the programme a creditable if populist, introduction to a complex and enigmatic artist.

Viewer Rating   7/10

Friday 26 November 2010

Yakkety-Yak - Yak Attack!

The Face, The Hoff, The Edge, The Stig... Seems like the good old days, when heroes were enigmatic and names were short, are well and truly back at AFC Wimbledon. The close season signing of ('Call me..') Ismail ('The Yak') Yakubu, the man with possibly the most confusing set of nicknames in non-league football, seems to have sent Fleydon ('The Flag') into something of a tail-spin. Formerly reluctant to the point of belligerence in his refusal to mention players on his flags, Fleydon has recently completed an amazing volte-face and now counts Antony Howard (1 flag), Sam Hatton (1 flag), Danny Kedwell (2 Flags) and Ismail Yakubu (1 flag) amongst those immortalised on canvas.

Intrigued at this recent development, The Art & Artist Review investigated further and with the assistance of Glen (Trigger) Mulcaire (TheTrig) managed to discover some startling information regarding the artistic direction taken by the artist known as The Fley
(nb This may, or may not, be a picture of the artist himself. More reclusive than Banksie, The Fley is a hard man to pin down...)

Fleydon's latest offering to the Tempest End Society of Art Critics appears slightly bewildering at first. However text and voicemail messages that have come into our possession between Fleydon and his agent Miranda 'Vampira' Campowski  which throws light on the shady underworld of Terrace Art.

Although ostensibly an homage  to the talents of Manchester City striker Shaun Goater and his biography 'Feed the Goat'  this particular flag is apparently nothing more than an attempt to appeal to the vanity (and the wallet) of player himself. Anticipating a return to League football Fleydon seems to have abandoned all claims of artistic integrity and now seems to be determined to flatter his 'subject' in the hope of a swift financial return, hoping no doubt, that the increased revenue flooding into the club from both the Magic Minute and the iDons franchises are fuelling the players wage packets beyond their wildest imaginings. In this respect he reminds us of erstwhile surrealist and money machine Salvador Dali. We can only hope that Fleydon sees the error of his ways and reverts to less commercial activities in future. And to Mr Ismail Yakubu we at The Art & Artist Review can only say "Keep your hand in your pocket. Flattery is worthless and it's not even a very good Yak. You can get better for less."

Friday 22 October 2010

"Special K" - The Unveiling of Ked's Head

Sometimes a plan comes together. And don't you just love it when it does?

The Crawley game of 23rd September was just such an occasion for Fleydon as he made plans for a record breaking third consecutive flag focusing on a single individual. Of the two previous  flags "Just don't upset Danny" was indeed a true evocation of the spirit of Kedwell but the following effort, "Kiss the Badge"  had the unfortunate effect of indirectly implicating Danny in an international betting scam of biblical proportion. After keeping low and well out of sight for some weeks, Fleydon then emerged on the night of the Crawley game with what can only be construed as a 'peace offering' to the Dons Captain.

Special K - The Ked's Head is a simple design - an almost pointillistic rendering of the benign features of the special one gazing down on his chosen people. Stylistically not unlike the face of God, Boe , Big Brother or even Holly where in each case these individuals maintain a calm impassivity whilst all around them chaos reigns

For AFC Wimbledon the unveiling was marked by the presence of television cameras and a potential audience of millions. For Fleydon it was an unashamedly desperate piece of humble-pie eating. Would Kedwell accept the offering in the spirit it was offered? Would he provide some small sign of forgiveness? 
Ked's Head joins the Pantheon of Flags
Ked's Head was set up directly behind the goal in a high visibility position and soon attracted a crowd of potential acolyte's. Their apparent anxiety grew throughout the match as Kedwell seemed to spurn their entireties - to the extent of allowing the Crawlies to score in the very net they had hoped he would bless himself.
At this point things were looking bleak for the self-styled 'Kedwell-ites' and pleading cries of "Give us a sign!" were heard coming from the back of the stand. Half time arrived and the acolytes were left milling about in a state of obvious confusion
Confused supporters milling beneath the icon at half time

The second half was a revelation though. Having suffered their penance, Keds relieved the suffering of his followers by allowing the appropriately biblical Samuel Hatton to literally 'Cross the Jordan' to level the score from his accustomed position on the right-back hand-side of Keds.
To then prove his beneficence beyond all doubt the Lord Keds then rose above the 'red devils' to gently nestle the ball in the back of the net, beneath his icon, to seal a memorable victory and to send his followers into ecstatic raptures
No more need be said on this momentous night, although Fleydon - in a further gesture of contrition - has intimated that this most sacred of flags may well be used in the near future to raise funds for worthy Wimbledon causes. We await further details with barely trammelled excitement...
Tickle 'yer Keds with a Womble! A votive offering was discovered beneath the flag obviously placed in an effort to appease the deity.

Monday 13 September 2010

Betting Scam Rocks Worlds of Art and Football

Caught on CCTV - The Offending Flag
Investigations are being conducted into a recent AFC Wimbledon match against Bath City in the Conference Premier, scene of a massive betting scam spread over four continents and involving millions of pounds.

Police and gambling associations around the world had their suspicions aroused when a number of large bets were laid predicting that Danny Kedwell, Wimbledon captain and crowd favourite, would kiss the club crest on his shirt. Such a gesture is usually viewed with suspicion and a degree of cynicism by Wimbledon supporters so the odds of Kedwell engaging in such an activity were considered remote and the odds were consequently long. The fact that he blatantly did so following his goal in the last few minutes of the game further alerted the authorities to the possibility that all was not as it should be and an immediate investigation was launched.

Attention soon focussed on a new piece of artwork hanging in the Tempest End. Highly visible throughout the ground, the confusing and enigmatic piece had caused much doubt and discussion amongst spectators who had been speculating as to the nature of the flag and the meaning of the central figure. Was it a ghost, monster or zombie? What did it have to do with the club at all? The artist Fleydon, controversial vexillologist and self proclaimed ‘bad-boy of the emulsion tester pot’', had evidently placed this new flag with no prior announcement. It was also swiftly removed at the final whistle before reporters from the Art & Artist Review had the opportunity to question him regarding meaning and content.

Gene Simmons - Unwitting Subliminal Trigger?
Investigators soon noticed that the central figure bore an uncanny resemblance to heavy-rock practitioner Gene Simmonds of the band KISS. However subtle alterations had been made to his usual stage makeup and investigators soon made out what they believed to be a coded message contained within the design itself. The more usual ‘Demon’ make up had been adjusted to resemble the AFC Wimbledon badge in what is now believed to be an explicit -albeit subliminal - instruction for Kedwell to “KISS – The Badge”

Licking Supporters. Not clever, not funny...
Although scientists studying the evidence were amused that the painting seemed to be licking a supporters head, they also emphasised that it was very wrong to encourage betting scams. They were anxious to emphasise that Danny Kedwell was apparently totally oblivious to the subliminal messages coming from the Tempest End and has subsequently been cleared of any wrong-doing.

Investigators are still seeking Fleydon and there are serious concerns that the success of his subliminal suggestions may encourage him to extreme measures during the upcoming home fixture against Crawley Town. Supporters are therefore advised not to look too closely at flags produced by Fleydon until they can be certified clear of all unconcious instruction.

Sunday 28 March 2010

"Just DON'T Upset Danny"

 Set fair to ascend into the pantheon of AFC Wimbledon Gods (where he will surely sit at the right hand of Almighty Everard) Danny Kedwell has now joined another unique trio*, those of individuals honoured in the works of Fleydon. Previous beneficiaries of this honour were manager Dave Anderson in DA's Army and Sam Hatton in Sam's Missile

"Such tributes are rare for obviously pragmatic reasons" remarks Fleydon. "Players, even the most popular, have a habit of coming and going whereas what I celebrate is the spirit of the club, it's essence rather than the qualities of a particular individual. Other personal references have been sparked by specific circumstances - the DA reference was part of a pun and Sam's Missile part of a sponsorship birthday present - so you could argue that this particular flag is the first to truly celebrate the qualities of an individual player and as such marks a major concession to my artistic values. Tenacity, strength, the ability to transform a game and a 'never-say-die' attitude combined with that photograph of Danny that they always show in the NLP... well, apart from the green tinge, that's Danny all over isn't it?" 

We asked about the coded meanings and the playful conceits that litter his work, but were more than slightly surprised at the confession that these were entirely absent from this particular piece.
"No, nothing. It's just a bit of fun and an homage to someone who will undoubtedly be our player of the year this season. I don't think he'll mind the Hulk comparison either. I was stuck for paint to tell you the truth and really needed to use up the green so it was either going to be the Hulk or the Green Lantern and I don't think players are allowed to wear rings during a game, especially if they glow and confer almost unlimited power on the wearer. Although now I think about it the Green Goblin would use a lot of green as well and as coincidence has it the Hulk shared a front cover with him on his first appearance. But then Danny's definitely more Hulk than Goblin."
Having now been premièred "Just DON'T upset Danny!" will now be withdrawn form public view whilst Fleydon makes emergency adjustments  to the shirt. "Having had the opportunity to observe it in situ  I'm afraid the blue is a bit on the light side and looks just a litle bit sheer for a football shirt. As there's the possibility of a hint of nipple showing through I'm going to ensure it's thickened and darkened to make sure I'm not caught out by any late frosts."

"Just DON'T upset Danny!" will be back for the new season. Here's hoping that the real Danny Kedwell will be too.  
* 'Frankie' Howard was also honoured but that was a one-off leaving flag and not designed for repeat hangings.

Monday 8 March 2010

2002 - A Dons Odyssey

PRESS RELEASE: Fleydon Artworks Inc. 06-02-2010
Major Artwork To Be Unveiled At Kingsmeadow

“We then walked round the corner to the junction of Plough Lane and Durnsford Road, where the sculpture – named “Landmark” -- was waiting for us, wrapped in a red cloth.” WISA article

Saturday’s game against Forest Green Rovers sees the unveiling of the latest Fleydon artwork and a companion piece to artist Sam Burford’s Plough Lane Landmark monolith (see Sam's site for pictures of the piece)

Although bitterly disappointed at being overlooked in the selection process for the Plough Lane commission and semingly forgotton when invitations were being assigned,  by sheer coincidence Fleydon happened to be in area during the unveiling. At the conclusion of the ceremony (and after all participants had left the scene) Fleydon emerged from the surrounding bushes, determined to retrieved the red material used to wrap the monolith which had been casually discarded in the rain.

Whilst crouched on the floor gathering the cloth, Fleydon looked up at the black monolith towering above him at the very moment when the rain clouds parted and the sun burst through, creating both a halo of light around the statue and an epiphany in the mind of the artist.
At that point Fleydon realised that with his crouching pose, the monolith and the burst of light that there were uncanny echoes of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey when an outside force prompts a huge evolutionary change within the minds of our primitive ape-like ancestors.

2001 might have been important in the film but 2002 is, of course, the year when AFC Wimbledon suddenly emerged from the broken carapace of its predecessor and when attitudes and beliefs evolved in new and exciting directions. Just as the ape-man shattered all his rivals with his new and potent 'club' so too did the motivated and highly intelligent new species of Wimbledon football supporter. In fact it was a time when a new ‘Dons Odyssey’ began as the club once again began it's long haul to 'reach for the stars'

Fleydon has captured this moment of enlightenment on his new banner, the material of which is the very red shroud mentioned in the WISA commentary and used to cover the Plough Lane statue. Likened by many to the Holy Shroud of Turin, this scared red rag helps ensure that, in some small way, a vital link is maintained with Wimbledon’s spiritual Plough Lane home.

Film buffs will also be aware that the motto “The Ultimate Trip” is not only a strap line on the original movie, but also echoes manager Terry Brown’s assertion that the journey is often more enjoyable than the destination. It is this small but vital attention to detail that keeps Fleydon on the top of his game
***End of Press Release***