The Lacey Rituals: Films by Bruce Lacey on BFI DVD [read more]
Who links The Beatles, Ken Russell, Peter Cook, Richard Lester, Fairport Convention, The Goons, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, cartoonist Bob Godfrey (Roobarb and Custard) and Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller? The answer: Mr Bruce Lacey. And if Bruce Lacey himself has somehow remained ‘off our radar’ in recent times, it wasn’t always like that.
A legendary figure on the British counter-cultural art scene during the 1960s, Lacey has enjoyed five decades of defining cultural moments, collaborating with all manner of filmmakers, musicians and artists. Lacey was known for his unpredictable humour and strong political views; his wide-ranging and idiosyncratic art practice saw him construct all manner of mechanical, sci-fi devices and robotic beings as well as exhibiting films and interactive environments in the era’s groundbreaking, underground art-happenings scene. A regular on TV and in film, he was the flute-playing gardener in Help! and a mad scientist in Smashing Time.
Check out a minute-long trailer with Fairport Conventions soundtrack at the link above. Although Bruce Lacey exerted considerable influence on post-War culture, bafflingly, much of his work has remained obscure and little seen in recent years. This July, the BFI and Camden Arts Centre celebrate and revisit the richness and diversity of his output. This 2-disc BFI DVD is released on 23 July and a season of his rarely-screened films and TV shows takes place at BFI Southbank from 5 – 31 July. The Bruce Lacey Experience, a major new exhibition at Camden Arts Centre runs from 7 July – 16 September.