• Alan Smith ACA

Personal Protective Equipment

Updated: Jun 26

I have just returned from a 78 mile ride to the destination, which is where I began for a zoom meeting.

The journey had a shape and along it I had many thoughts but struggle to remember what they were.

It is easier for me to recall the heat getting into black leather and helmet, the first movement of the motorcycle and the gradual build-up of speed. It isn’t the same speed throughout the journey and its the acceleration, slowing and cornering that produces the most exhilaration.

But what was I thinking? What was happening in my head? I recall celebrating a feeling of freedom, thinking how beautiful the road was, the different head space that I find between the A69, B6413 and the road that drops from Nenthead and into Allenheads and signals that I am home. And feeling disappointed that it is over too soon.

Can this have anything to do with coronavirus? Only if I want it to and push it into a 3rd space for contextual parity. On the motorcycle I am alone and in my helmet I am alone. Everything is outside of me and I have to be alert so as not to come in contact with anything or anyone, it’s a moving world, stuff travels past me, away from me and towards me.

How might I talk about sitting in my garden in the same way? In the morning I sit on the garden bench facing Killhope Law with the sun on my back, if I stay there till night fall the sun is on my face. In sight from the garden, vehicles travel through the village in a maximum of six directions, I am stationary…am I?

On the motorcycle, just like on the bench my backside does not leave the seat, everything travels around me. I am living in my first space, my bubble, my head space.

It’s funny to think when the pubs open I will be watching from the same space my shielding space. I will be able to let the pubs and towns travel past me while I’m on my motorcycle and when I return home I will see the pictures, videos and TV reports about the pubs reopening from my space.

Cheers for the chat Andy, I enjoyed that.

© 2018 Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Allenheads, Hexham, Northumberland NE47 9HR

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