Unusual Events

Published on July 4th, 2012 | by Adrian Simpson


Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea…

This sentence, until now, was the final utterance of probably one of the best loved and most cherished British films of all time: The Italian Job. Now, thanks to artist Richard Wilson and all round good guy Eddie Izard it’s become the most bonkers art installation in Britain celebrating the UK’s cultural Olympiad in the run up to The Games. The people at the incurably cool De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill , Sussex, have commissioned a reproduction of the nail biting scene which ends the film to it on its roof. It’s beautiful and bonkers and we love it.

The Italian Job - DWLP stunt

As the blog has been weaving its way through the topsy turvey world of strange sports, eye popping endurance and whacky festivals we haven’t had much cause to celebrate art, mainly because I really don’t know that much about it. However, when I heard about this feat of audacious engineering planned for the DLWP, the hairs on the back of neck stood proud and my eyes misted over  – it was an evangelical introduction to the art world, and now I’m a believer.
The Italian Job in Sussex - The Bus
This isn’t just some lads’ nostalgia trip, the film, released in 1968, is seen by many experts as the only cinematic guide to London in the last throes of the decade which saw it the global capital of cool. The cars, the suits, the cheeky banter and the romance of the escapade all conspire to create an image of Britain and Brits at their very finest and if you don’t like you’re made of wood.
The Italian Job in Sussex
Local boy Eddie Izzard has coughed up enough cash to make this all possible along with a contribution from the Arts Council. Eddie said of the piece:
“2012 is the year the Olympics & Paralympic Games return to the United Kingdom and I think this is a perfect time to hang a large bus off the edge of a building in a seaside town. As a huge fan of the classic film The Italian Job, I am proud to be the Principal Sponsor of artist Richard Wilson’s ‘Hang On A Minute Lads’…. By the end of 2012 I would hope that the word goes out from our country that not only do we run excellent world events, but also we balance coaches on the edges of buildings like no one else ever could”

The Italian Job in Sussex - The Crane

I popped down to the DLWP this week to see the exact replica of the Harrington Legionnaire coach being swung into place by burly blokes in high vis vests and one enormous crane. It’s going to hang off the side of the building all summer long and is opened to the public on 7th July and I really do recommend making the time to visit. This is the place that both Vampire Weekend and Keane chose to start their UK tours with the latter digging it so much their latest album cover is a shot of the beach.

If this isn’t celebrating a life less ordinary, I don’t know what is. Brilliant.

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About the Author

Adrian Simpson

Adrian Simpson is a writer and TV presenter with a profound love of the outdoors. His family, snow, sea, brewing, vinyl, guitars and VW buses mean the world to him.

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