Art and Football by Robert Deacon

Plymouth v Exeter 160814
Wandered into Bristol’s Arnolfini Gallery
A new exhibition caught my eye
The Promise – a dialogue between the city and its people – it said
Gallery 2 enticed me in with Doing Things Separately Together
A multi coloured atlas of the city showing how different social groups
simultaneously occupy the same space .
To my pleasant surprise, I found the areas of support for our two local football teams clearly delineated in vibrant Rovers blue and City red.
A few days later found me on the train to my home city of Plymouth
for the local derby with Exeter City.
The stage, Home Park Stadium, with a audience of 11,000 supporters,.
Before kickoff, on cue from the MC,some 10,000 pilgrims hold up alternate green and black cards spelling out pafc forever.
Instant public art created with precision timing.
On the pitch, battle is joined, passes are overhit, shots fired high and wide,tackles fly in with no quarter given, – Then it happens
Tyler Harvey, Plymouth born and bred, controls the ball near the centre circle, looks up and sends a perfectly placed pass, splitting the massed Exeter defence wide open, into the path of his team mate Reuben Reid who calmly slots the ball into the net past the Exeter goalkeeper. The Plymouth fans celebrate with unbridled joy, two more goals quickly follow and Plymouth emerge 3-0 victors.
The stadium empties, the Plymouth fans head home with local bragging rights secured, eagerly awaiting the next performance at their theatre of dreams.
Bio: Bob Deacon is a library assistant working in Bristol who loves art, books, cricket, films ,football, music & people. He hails from Nailsea, North Somerset. @rjdeacon55
Synopsis: I am a lifetime supporter of Plymouth Argyle Football Club and I also enjoy visiting art galleries. I have often considered to what extent these two cultural pastimes are connected .At a recent visit to the Arnofini Gallery in Bristol I was pleasantly surprised to see the respective geographical areas of support for the city’s two football teams forming part of a new exhibition. I recently attended the Plymouth Argyle v Exeter City football match.. I came away from the game, not only pleased at Plymouth’s 3-0 victory but also with the belief that a football match is itself a form of art, with each match its own unique public performance, shaped and performed by both players and spectators.

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