Pump Poems 2009

An installation at the Pitstop Petrol Station, Broughton-in-Furness, for the FRED Festival of Arts, Cumbria, (2009).

Most people have experienced that curious trance-like state we adopt whilst re-fuelling our cars on a petrol station forecourt. It provides a few solitary minutes of meditation, we are going somewhere but for a brief time our lives are literally at a standstill. Advertisers have already recognised this phenomenon and have calculated that they have approximately three minutes to present us with wonderful opportunities to purchase bargain torchlights, cheap cool boxes and tasty travel snacks. I tried to recapture and revalue that moment by subverting the gaudy graphics and advertising that usually cover the petrol pumps. Instead, I installed a series of four large contemplative ‘pump poems’ whose intention was to deliver a creative refill, to re-fuel customers imaginations and provide a genuine pause for thought on the forecourt of the reinvented ‘Poetry Station’. Replica postcards, including the poems, were available free inside the garage shop for those drivers who wanted to retain ‘a memory of the moment’.