Margate Express on Central Line

The latest masterpiece from the Professor of Drawing is the cover for the tube map. She does a fair warbler with its beak open and trots it out at regular intervals. “When in doubt scribble a bird with its beak open,” advised the Prof as she stepped down from the Margate Express. It was commissioned for a special map to be handed out during the Olympics so that all the foreign visitors will be overwhelmed by the wealth of artistic talent in our country. Said the mayor of London, whose brilliant idea it was to approach the Professor: “How appropriate it is that our Olympic map should echo the advice of the mighty Apelles who drew birds as symbols of an athlete’s freedom of spirit.” Meanwhile, the willing idiot in charge of art on the underground spewed out what she always says when a new map is published: “The artwork presents a moving and unique interpretation of the capital.” Mrs Margi Doonham of Nottingham, who was up the smoke bargain-hunting for suicide potions, said after studying her map that she knew a disabled artist who could draw a better bird holding the pencil up his arse.

She likes birds does the Margate Express – and every one a masterpiece. Some years ago we reported on her sculpture outside the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool. It was sixty grand’s worth (courtesy of the BBC who for some reason paid for it) of tiny bird on a pole which some unimpressed scouser promptly sawed off. It was found nearby in a jiffy bag and reattached, following which it was nicked again. We are unsure of its current status, but do let us know if you are privy to information.

David Lee

The Jackdaw June 2012