Monday 13th April 2015.
Green Party poster launch and photo call with Brian May.
Gently sloping North Street in Brighton’s North Lanes feels just like the heartland of Green party politics as painted by it’s pedestrian and commercial population.
Independent restaurants selling farm fresh breakfasts vastly outnumber the usual generic chains. The Green Party’s latest ‘ Vote Big, Vote Brave’ billboard hangs above a ‘pottery cafe’ where parents of ‘all ages and abilities’ can cast their babies feet in plaster. Big blue whales are painted on the outside wall and a good natured press call runs smoothly apart from the occasional polite disturbance of retro mustached Morris Minor drivers nudging their rusting vehicles through the tripods and green banners.
Caroline Lucas, hoping for re-election as the MP for Brighton pavilion hosts a visit by party leader Natalie Bennett. Both are good to sketch as they wear distinctive, smart and quite ‘individualistic’ outfits. Fairly unusual for political candidates.
I make a quick drawing of Natalie Bennett on her way back to Brighton Station as she is button-holed by a voter wanting confirmation about the Green’s immigration policy. Spotting her from his car, the chap puts on his hazard lights and joins the party leader on the pavement to describe his personal situation.
At lunchtime the beautifully restored Brighton Bandstand and Old Pier shrouded in freezing cold mist provide a traditional seaside backdrop for a speech on ‘Common Decency’ by guitarist of rock band Queen and animal rights campaigner Brian May. His hair is as good to sketch as I imagined it might be, though his other rock star trademark, the dark glasses he explains, are a post eye-op necessity rather than a badge of cool.
There is no more effective way of picturing distant seagulls than as the visually cliched ‘parenthesis’ of childhood seaside drawings. I realise this whilst adding a couple to my view of campaigning in Brighton in the absence of any visible seaside. Brian May dons a heavy overcoat and obligingly strikes numerous guitar hero/political enthusiast poses for the press and media.