BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Artist's 300 surprise for shoppers
Pound coins
Mr Dedomenici gave out money to passers-by
Shoppers were offered spare change by a beggar and asked to "save the pond" - all in the name of art.

The bizarre events were part of a "marathon of micro-performances" by artist Richard Dedomenici.

He was given 300 by Colchester Arts Centre on Saturday morning, and had 24 hours to spend it in the Essex town.

Artistic director Anthony Roberts said: "I was hoping he would show my town in a way I'd never seen it before, and he did."

'Contradictory work'

Mr Dedomenici, who graduated last year, began his day of art surprises outside a clothes shop.

There, he gave passers-by helium balloons emblazoned with the shop's logo.

"It's predictable to have anti-corporate art, so I decided to do something different," said Mr Dedomenici, who describes his work as "anarcho-surrealist" and "subversive".

"I like contradictions in my work.

"The security guards were giving me funny looks, but nobody came out of the shop to get rid of me."

Mr Dedomenici also planned to shadow an anti-euro campaigner who gives out stickers saying "Save the Pound".

"I got my own stickers printed which said 'Save the Pond' - but then he wasn't there."

'Beggar mode'

But the highlight of his numerous performances was his "reverse begging" - where he gave out money.

"Instead of asking people for spare change I said, 'Would you like some spare change, mate?'.

"When people saw that image they automatically went into their beggar mode, and said, 'No mate'."

Although most refused his money, some did get into circulation.

"I had stickers on the back of the coins giving the exchange rate.

"One person told me they'd been given a coin like that in Debenhams.

"That really made me feel I'd made an impact."

Audience 'thrilled'

Mr Dedomenici presented the results of his day-long exploits to an audience at Colchester Arts Centre on Sunday lunchtime.

Mr Roberts said the audience had been "clearly thrilled and engaged".

"I live and work in Colchester - it's my community.

"But I'll never be able to look at the crazy golf course in the same way.

"Richard decided it just wasn't crazy enough, so he went and played on it at midnight.

"His work is full of little art subversions - he has clever and original ideas.

"Richard's work proves you can do high art, and it can just be quite a laugh."


Click here to go to Essex
See also:

16 May 02 | Entertainment
08 Nov 01 | England
08 Aug 01 | Europe
30 May 00 | UK
21 May 00 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes