Looking for Gary
Set on Essex Road among an established local community in Islington London, this film looks at the complex relationship between people and place. Growing up in Ireland Michelle Deignan first heard of Islington in London on British television in 1980. This was when the New Romantic band Spandau Ballet were introduced on BBC’s Top of the Pops, as ‘five young guys from Islington who are causing a real buzz in the music industry’. Ever since, she meshed Islington New Romanticism and Spandau Ballet into one memory. Years later, after living in North London for 20 years, she found out that Gary Kemp, Spandau Ballet’s songwriter, had grown up around Essex Road. In ‘Looking For Gary’ Deignan sets about re-writing all these associations by taking to Essex Road to find herself a new Gary. Her very public quest, performed in and outside shops, libraries and pubs, is edited with inter-titles addressing the long gone Gary Kemp. With these she plays with ideas about what she wants and how she’s going about getting it. The story ends when she successfully finds a new Gary and commits him to memory by capturing his portrait on Super 8 film. Commissioned by Tintype Gallery for Essex Road V with Support from Arts Council England.