Letter from Beeston by Marysia Zipser, broadcasted on BBC Radio Nottingham, on May 20, 2020. Marysia presents “The Ghost Bus: Roberto Alborghetti in the Land of Robin Hood”. A wonderful story, a fantastic visual adventure.
THE GHOST BUS: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI FROM ITALY TO THE LAND OF ROBIN HOOD
BY MARYSIA ZIPSER
(Text brodcasted on BBC Radio on May 20, 2020)
In October 2014, Roberto Alborghetti came to Beeston for the first time. We had ‘met’ on LinkedIn earlier that year – the world’s business networking platform. I loved his posts and, in particular, his visual art project called Lacer/Actions.
He transforms and turns pictures of ripped and decomposed publicity posters, natural cracks, scratches, and deteriorations, into “art subjects”. His whole concept is “making art” from industrial de-construction-ism, caught by camera, macro scale. He captures the randomness, letting the picture tell the story, and documents the reality. He doesn’t change what he sees. Nothing is manipulated.
I asked Roberto that I would like to feature him and his work at my second Art-Culture-Tourism networking evening in March called “Cultures Crossing”, by showing his artworks on screen. He was delighted, and my event at The Lace Mill certainly was Vay-Nee Vee-Dee Vee-Chee “Veni, Vidi, Vici”. It brought European press coverage all thanks to Roberto’s journalist efforts.
A few months later, Roberto contacted me to say he was visiting London friends and could he come to Beeston to see me for several hours before he went back to Italy. I said yes, of course.
Prior to his proposed visit, I had researched further into his background, and found out that besides being an Italian ‘Pulitzer’ award-winning journalist and best selling author, he was also the official biographer to Pope Francis. And, he had just published his second volume on him, called “My Life is an Arrow”. So, I thought, I wonder if Nottingham’s official Robin Hood, Tim Pollard, who happens to live in Beeston, would be free for a photo shoot with Roberto. Tim gladly accepted.
So the day came when I met Roberto from Beeston railway station and brought him to Chilwell High Road. He and Tim got on famously and I photographed them together at Chilwell Creative Corner and then walked them up to Barton’s head office.
Simon Barton greeted us and steered us into the old garage walking through his office, as though left in a time warp. I have always loved the Barton’s historic building and the events Simon and his sons have staged there. I knew Roberto would be hooked.
I was not mistaken. In fact, he disappeared totally among the old Barton buses, vintage cars, vans and bicycles arrayed over the large expanse of the docking sheds. It is a transport enthusiast’s Valhalla. While Simon, Tim and I chatted, Roberto was taking his macro photos of the old vehicles cocooning him. He was transported back in time. The Robin Hood marque on the side chasses of the red buses proved excellent photo backdrops for them together.
Then, he chanced upon the Ghost Bus, a 1956 URR Reliance, which had been rescued from a Suffolk field…after 20 years of slumber. When it was time to go, I called out to Roberto. He excitedly walked back to us with a smile. We said our grateful goodbyes and entered into the street’s bright daylight.
Roberto followed and called out, “Marisha, I know what I am going to dooo!” “I’m going to make a film about The Ghost Bus!”. And so in March 2015, Roberto returned to Bartons to premiere his short film at The Ghost Bus Show. The journey and Ghost Bus Saga had begun. And the rest, as they say, is history.