I enjoy Forkbeard as this custom-built jalopy for getting me around creatively. It’s been this way since I helped create it in 1973, adding new bits and whirring mechanisms on the way. It has this unhinged fuse-box connecting all the things I enjoy imaginatively and artistically.
The things I do as an artist for Forkbeard encompass writing, drawing, poetry, animation, scripting shows and films, cartooning, film-making, editing, making soundtracks …and the self-taught performance style I first nervously tried out with Chris at The Edinburgh Fringe Club in 1974.
Originally I thought I’d like to be an animator and children’s book illustrator. It was annoying being pushed into studying English Literature when I really wanted to go to Art School. So I failed my degree by doing drawings instead of essays.
We started out as performance artists but our love of entertaining and making people laugh upset the purists and textbook writers. We’re artists who have mixed their own specialist concoctions of creative ideas and media as we’ve gone along under the Forkbeard banner.
What Forkbeard and many of its peers did in the 1970s was to gradually infiltrate mainstream theatre and change it forever. What we were adding to the pot was outlandish, new and often controversial. But these days mixing art in all its forms is everywhere around you and I’m really proud to have contributed to the thriving scene we see today.My particular interest now is in drawing and painting, making animations and cartoons, creating mechanical museum displays and finding new ways of making scientific and natural history subjects fun and accessible, through mixes of film and mechanization.