Grunts for the Arts

The Great Track and Field Swindle
September 10, 2009, 1:01 pm
Filed under: Artists' Sports Days

We’re creatures of habit, us folk here at Grunts for the Arts HQ.

Probably due to the incredibly repetitive nature of our strict artistically sporty regime, we’ve developed a fondness for routine, repetition and circuitous actions.

With this in mind, we soon realised that the summer quite simply wouldn’t be the second season in the year without a GFA outing, and so were overjoyed to be given the opportunity to link up with the charming souls that constitute the membership of New Work Network and Bermondsey Artists’ Group in order to entertain them at their summer social at Café Gallery.

Which is what we did.

Since the theme for the day was Cheating (before we became the  focus of the day, there was a discussion around notions of cheating the system within the artosphere), swindling and fraudulence was the theme for our events as well.

With the Where’s the Cultural Integrity? chocolate hunt, the How low will you go?’limbo competition, Daniel Oliver’s Interpretive Wrestling and Rachel Gomme’s The Judge’s Decision is Final all making up a part of the swindling mix, a splendid afternoon resulted with magnificent proof of the inaccuracy of the adage ‘Cheats never prosper’.

How Low Will You Go?

I love it when a scam comes together

(Photos: Lottie Leedham)

The Great Track and Field Swindle, Café Gallery, Southwark Park, London.

Sunday 27th September. 4pm onwards.

A part of the joint New Work Network / Bermondsey Artists’ Group summer social.


London 2008
May 23, 2008, 10:01 am
Filed under: Artists' Sports Days

Well, Team GB might have saved the Olympics ideal for the time being, but things weren’t always so happy in the Olympic village.

Only a short while ago, there was much talk of China’s pretty dismal human rights record in the lead-up to 2008 (soon forgotten in the light of 18 gold medals) and this, combined with the escalating 2012 expenditure and the sense that Boris, Tessa and Lord Seb are lying through their teeth every time they open their mouths, managed to register some degree of alarm on the grunting radar.

The Coloured Rings of Shit

Having done our bit towards the campaign for arts funding, it seemed obvious that we should next turn our attention to this debilitation of the Olympic Dream – it was in need of reinvention.

So, on the 5th July, an elite squad of grunting forces descended onto Butterfield Green in North London as a part of Rational Rec’s Recfest festival. And so began our next outing of (sp)arting endeavour.

The Events


Yugo Yoga – The Art of Socialist Meditation with Olga Sokolska

Lisa Alexander’s Thought Marathon

Medaling Children (and adults)

Siobhan McAuley’s Slow-mo Solo On the Spot Sprints

Sarah Taylor’s Human Hurdles

And then we settled back with our giant white credit cards and partied like it was 2008…

And that's not a credit card.

With many grateful thanks to Lisa Alexander, Sonia Chenery, Siobhan McAuley, Sarah Taylor, Lucy Thane and Rational Rec.

All photos: William Mackrell

Artists Sports Day 2: The Re-run
September 9, 2007, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Artists' Sports Days

So Sports Day had been, gone and impressed all with its decidedly sodden but resoundingly successful attempts at artistic retraining.

Anticipating the summer that has been that of 2007, we bided our time, we kept our heads low, we couldn’t be bothered to think of anything dramatically new, and then, following the dampest, most miserable summer of the last three or four, we sprang forth and indulged in our favourite pastime on the last warm and sunshiney day of the year – September 15th.

Not wanting to be Londoncentric – the effects of the cuts (and therefore the need for retraining) can be found in the whole of the country – we had at first wanted to go elsewhere in our green and pleasant land but, since logistically this proved too difficult, we thought we’d make a compromise and have our second outing in South London.

Which we did.

Once again, below are some photos for your perusal, below that is (or soon will be) a list of winners, and there may even be some video documentation coming your way if you’re lucky!

So, without further ado – on with the documentation!

The Events

The Conceiving of the Concepts in the Conceptual Leap The Leaping of the Leaps in the Conceptual Leap The Dog Wrassling Champion of South London
The next generation pays attention… A demonstration for the nation Dry Land Synchronised swimming
The Widdecombes make ready Celebrity Sack Racing A finish that’s in a photo yet is not a photo finish
The warm-up for the 20×2m relay One of the umpires The competitors of the 20×2m Relay in action
The Handbag Ritual Ms XL (Because in the future all artists will be spreadsheets) hurls a handbag The Tour de Parc Cocktail Race
Doughnuts More doughnuts The Fifteen Legged Race

The Awards

Diogenes and Not Very Jowly Tess The youngest and the oldest of the Grunters

(All photos: Dominic Howe)

Sporting Artistry
May 29, 2007, 9:39 am
Filed under: Artists' Sports Days

The sun rose on a day of glorious monotony; the sky was a smoky shade of grey and the smell of rain was in the air.

But here a lesson is to be had here in the deception of appearances. For scrape away at the humdrum veneer of the 26th May and we see that, like the ants, earwigs and beetles that can be found underneath the pavements of concrete that line our streets, the people of Grunts for the Arts were also beneath the suburban surface; making busy, coming together, and preparing a day of renown and distinction the like of which has rarely been seen before.

Dr Jane Munro’s Gymnastics Corner. The winning entry.

A tent was erected, tracks and pitches marked out, banners staked into the ground, and a smoothly run, efficiently organised and truly poetic afternoon of artistic athleticism was undertaken.

Mere words can’t do justices to the sublime sense of joy and satisfaction that those participating experienced, the exhilaration and the ecstasy became almost tangible, an eerie white aura that surrounded the participants, blowing away the gloom and the tedium that the weather was trying to force upon us.

An Eerie Whiteness

The events came thick and furious; a flurry of hearty happenings punctuating the afternoon; feats of mythological standards were achieved; and everyone smiled most of the bloody time as well!

You can’t have all the people smiling all the time.

Special mention must be made for those competitors who astounded all with the Butoh 400m – an event which, whilst having perhaps the biggest non-event of a start ever witnessed in competitive athleticism, was beautiful to witness (for the whole two hours it took to run).

Every last soul that partook in handbag hurling deserves a medal. And that includes the commentators and cameramen (it’s a dangerous job y’know). Unfortunately only one award could be given out, but that’s the rules, innit?

Every Last Handbag Hurler The same amazing people. But from a different angle.

And that’s not to diminish the achievements of those who competed in the High Heel 100m, the Celebrity Sack Race, the Durational Knitting Sprints and every other event that made the day the wonder that it was; apologies for not giving you more detailed analysis, but hyperbole can only go so far, and if we keep going through every event in this manner, you’re going to start finding the words a little tedious.

So have an admire of the photos below and then keep reading for a list of those champions of humanity who gained a medal in the (earlier than planned due to the shocking weather conditions) award ceremony. And then take time to think of those who didn’t get a medal.
We’re into losers here at Grunts for the Arts.
We take pride in remembering the forgotten, the lost, the abysmally unsporty.
After all, without those who come last, there can be none who come first…

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, there was arts funding. Erecting stuff. The Butoh 400m - it was a close ran (?) contest. Have you ever seen a runner on the blocks look this happy? That would be  the joy of cross-dressing. Perhaps unfairly, neither of these two won. Ann Widdecombe won this. (Considering there was two of her taking part, perhaps unsurprisingly) What 400m of Butoh can do to you. A sport that justifies this kind of behaviour. Check the celebrities! Hurling, dancing or gymnastics? No one’s entirely sure. Hungry for High Heel Honour Shake, Booty and Roll.

Photos courtesy of:
Roland Buckingham
Dan Machen
Thomas J Bacon
Emma Cameron
Adele Prince.
The copyright remains with the holder.
So don’t sell em for loads of money, alright? (The photos, not the holders of the copyright – you’ll have a struggle if that’s your intention)

To view more, check:!F1AEEE517C3F465F!1057/

And here’s some moving image for you as well.

Alternatively, if you can’t be arsed with all that streaming nonsense, send us an e-mail and we’ll happily burn you a magnificently hi-res version that you can look at on the whole of your computer screen without any loss of quality! And as added excitement, the CD version comes with a whole 2 and a half minutes of extra footage, including extended Awards Ceremony scenes and The National Pottery Jackpot Draw!

On that note of exceptional height, and without any form of further ado – we are very proud to present to you…

    The Winners (as presented by Boris Johnson MP, courtesy of Richard Dedomenici)

    Thomas J Bacon’s 400m Butoh Walk/Sprint

    Thomas J Bacon (a coincidence, honest)

    Pamela Gilmore’s Oddegg and Spoon Race

    Charlie Ryder

    Dr Jane Munro’s Gymnastics Corner

    Bryony Kimmings
    Daniel Oliver
    Tim Jeeves

    Celebrity Sack Racing

    Gary Harvey

    High Heel 100m

    Gary Harvey

    The Sports Day Dance-Off

    El Rizal

    Handbag Hurling

    Bryony Kimmings

    Rachel Gomme’s Durational Knitting Sprints

    Unknown (erm, we’ve forgotten, sorry – let us know and we’ll give all due accolade)

    This list is by no means definitive, could very easily be wrong and is very prone to change as we’re updated with more accurate information.