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Updated: Jul 8, 2021


First published by ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

​- March 30, 2015


A great and wonderful night in Chilwell, Nottingham last Friday March 27, for the short films premiere of “The Ghost Bus” project I carried out with Bartons PLC and ACT Group.

The huge Bartons garage was set up in three different spaces hosting a “memorable event”

(Celia Clayton, Pin Sharp Marketing).

Many artists, photographers, media operators and fellow bloggers participated in the occasion considered as a special and unique presentation of the short movies dedicated to the old bus. Simon Barton with James, Tom, Jeanie and Fiona, received the guests at the Gallery. Marysia Zipser, founder of ACT Group, introduced the event inviting the audience to move around and

experience the different areas of Bartons PLC, and where an extraordinary and magical setting was prepared for the old and historical vehicle.

The short films premiere at Bartons Plc was supported by media, social networks and bloggers. Special thanks go to Sharon Walia of Notts TV (she interviewed me around the

Ghost Bus), Simon Wilson (editor of EG, The Nottingham Post), Christopher Frost (photographer/journalist, The Beestonian, Nottingham Daily

Photo), Alison Emm (editor at LeftLion magazine), Emvan (East Midland Visual Arts Network), Richard Cook (curator of Carnival of Monsters Contemporary Art Festival), Paul Boyd (photographer), Robert Richardson (visual artist/writer), Pam Miller (fine artist) and Marina Cortesi (Punto e Linea, Italy, for making the four canvases limited-edition and cards).

The special event saw the participation of Anna Soubry MP, Mrs Webb (of Webb Vehicle Collection and owner of the old bus) and artists, art operators and students from University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.

Before the short films projection I had the opportunity to tell how the project was born and developed.

This is what I said:

“Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen!

I’m so glad to be here with you for this special premiere of The Ghost Bus project. I really dreamed

this night last October just in the same moment I left Bartons Plc after my visit. I still remember what I said that day to Simon Barton and Marysia Zipser: “Here I saw

incredibile stuff for my visual art… Let’s stay in touch… I’m going to create something you’ll surely would like”.

I was deeply impressed by one of the oldest buses, the so-called “Ghost Bus”, a piece of history of English transport: a sister vehicle made in 1956 was also documented in a wonderful film of a Bartons Road Cruise Holiday taken in Italy in 1959. That was another great reason to establish a collaboration building a bridge between the Land of Robin

Hood and Italy…

I was also stricken by the story of Bartons Buses. They were the first bus company to have continental holidays by coach and also they had heaters on their pre-war Leylands. And Bartons was the first company to provide their drivers and conductors with a uniform fit for them to go to church in…

So I began to create, processing and selecting hundreds of pictures I took that day around the old bus…

Transforming and turning pictures of ripped and decomposed publicity posters (on outdoor billboards), natural and random cracks and scratches, industrial crevices and deteriorations into “art subjects”: this is the aim (and the challenge) of my research-action (named “Lacer/actions”) which investigates, analyses and exploits the incredible

dimension of decomposition, decay, degradation and mutation of outdoor advertising, urban

structures and industrial materials, as The Ghost Bus.

My whole concept is “making art” from industrial deconstructionism, caught on camera, on macro scale. My shots actually capture the randomness of deconstructionism, letting the picture tell the story. I catch and document the reality. And I

don’t change what I see. There’s nothing contrived, or manipulated… I love showing what I see. I

always catch the flakes of paint in their true state and experience the environment while I’m shooting the pictures.

So, I’m back at Bartons to premier two short films compiling images of The Ghost Bus. For the first film “Epic Voyage”, which lasts 13 minutes, I chose a powerful and stately soundtrack composed and performed by

Audiomachine. The flow of images are grouped into four themes (Maps, Lands, Horizons and Skies), they are illustrated by a number of citations on the ‘journey’, penned by great authors of world literature, from Kerouac to Hemingway. The first group of images come from an historic Land Rover vehicle that was parked next to the bus when I visited the depot…

I’ve perceived its colours and shapes as “maps” to the Ghost Bus…

The second film is 6 minutes in length and entitled “Seaside Town”. It is set to a soundtrack composed, arranged and performed by Simon, Richard, James and Tom Barton, who have participated with great enthusiasm in the project. Their soundtrack is emotive and highlights the human history of this vehicle and the hundreds of thousands of miles the bus travelled bringing pleasure to so many people.

For these short films I worked on details and particulars. A few centimeters of rusty iron surfaces reveal palettes of landscapes, dawns and sunsets. Or – as I’d like to say – the rebellion of the skies… I think that every image may be considered a sort of a singular painting. That’s the reason why, for the second film, I chose to show them in frames, while splashes of watercolors dot the background of the pictures, creating a colorful kaleidoscope effect.

We made “The Ghost Bus” experience not for a commercial purpose. We did it for the joy to create, to tell a story and to share, building bridges of collaboration and friendship between people, countries and the world wide web.

Since the moment we started to put on line some pics, flyers, cards series and video trailers, a lot of people across the world have been expressing, thinking and commenting on the Ghost Bus project. This is the power of visual and musical arts. This is the wonder of a family history, the Bartons. This is the beauty of what human beings can do through creativity and mutual cooperation.

My warmest thanks to those who made possible this dream and project: Simon Barton and his family, Richard, James and Tom, Jeanie Barton, Marysia Zipser, founder of ACT Group, Marina Cortesi (Punto e Linea, Italy, for making the four canvases limited-edition and cards), all the people who worked to organize and prepare this special event, to fellow bloggers and journalists who supported the films premiere. And to you all, for your kind presence here tonight!

Thank you so much!” ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI


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