Thursday, 13 September 2012

Rochdale Artist praises 'Northern Voices'

In the 70s, Kershaw's work was dotted all around Lancashire mill towns – there was the 'inside-out house' in his home town of Rochdale, which Hodkinson remembers very clearly.  'It just seemed normal to me.  When you're a kid, you don't deconstruct these things.  But when you're older, you realise it wasn't normal at all.'

THIS morning, just before Radio Four broadcast his program on what they called the 'Godfather of Guerrilla Artists', Walter Kershaw thanked Northern Voices for renewing his subscription to what he described as 'an excellent magazine'.  Shortly after this John Walker, the former editor of RAP (The Rochdale Alternative Paper) now living in London, e-mailed us to say: 
'Good programme on Walter on Radio 4 this a.m., 11.30.  Very evocative of Rochdale in 70's, but not totally nostalgic!!  Catch it on the I-player, if you can.  Trust all is well'  - John.
When Northern Voices spoke to 71-year-old Walter he was excited and anticipating the program.  His mother came from down South, but his Dad came from Blackburn and was a cotton operative.  He took the interviewer Mark Hodkinson into his spare bedroom and showed him his sculpture of 'Women's Liberation Front', and said:  'I'm not anti-social - it's just I haven't time to be social'.  Another commentator said Walter 'would talk some girl into taking her clothes off' so he could paint her in the nude and one woman said:  'Walter has spent too much time with women, he had no brother and was partly brought up with elderly aunts'
This, if true, is rather similar to George Orwell who was brought up mostly by his mother and other female relatives, while his father was in India.  In fact, I suspect that whatever the feminists say, most lads in the North are brought up listening to their mothers, grandmothers and aunts.  These female relatives,  in my experience, spend a lot of their time running their menfolk down, while we listen-in as young innocent onlookers to men being portrayed as rather disreputable specimen's of the human race.  This may be why men, when they grow up are like they are - the products of women who spend their days in this way.

A speaker, comparing Walter to Banksy, said that in a way Walter's work painting the gable-ends of terraced houses though not overtly political in a crude sense, were none-the-less, at the time, political gestures against the civil servants and the bureaucratic system.
The printed version of NORTHERN VOICES 13, now on sale with all sorts of stuff others won't touch and may be obtained as follows: Postal subscription: £5 for the next two issues (post included). Cheques payable to ‘NORTHERN VOICES’ at c/o 52, Todmorden Road, Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH.
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