Awkward and proud since 1979
You did read that right: 'awkward and proud', two words to define Stuart Vallantine, a Dukinfield UK based performance poet and visual artist.
As well as being a performance poet and visual artist, I also enjoy building websites. I know this bit is sounding cheesy, but as you can see, no designer other than myself has laid hands on this project, on this interactive experience, on this synchronisation of fingertip to keyboard.
Origins of this website
The idea was mooted as far back as 2001, but never went any further than a thumbnail sketch till 2005! Its aims are to showcase both my visual (drawings and photography) and verbal works (poetry, articles and prose). I have been drawing since I was three, with my early scribbles. These later became buildings, buses and televisions, with the bulk of these from memory.
As well as being a visual artist, I have established myself since June 2003 as a performance poet. I have performed since then around the Stalybridge area, a short walk from my home town Dukinfield, and further afield. This has included my involvement with a local writing group, People's Performance, and sharing the stage with Donna Williams on some of her UK tour dates.
Fellow visual artists and performance poets, feel free to log on at your leisure.
The colour scheme
If you lived in Greater Manchester from 1969 onwards, you would find that most buses were decked in orange and white (or white, orange and brown from 1981 - 1993). The inspiration comes from the buses I have been interested in for over 20 years.
Before the 26 October 1986, all buses around my way sported these colours, the colours of the late great Greater Manchester Transport. The PTE-ran concern standardised heavily on Leyland Atlanteans and Fleetlines with Northern Counties or Park Royal bodywork. Deregulation and eventual privatisation saw this colour combination fade away from the streets of Manchester. They still live on within this site and some exhibits in the Museum of Transport in Cheetham, a short journey from Manchester on the 135 route.
Countless bus journeys from an early age have triggered what is now a long standing obsession. This too is inspired by being hypnotised by the scenery on the top deck of the 344 from Mossley to Hyde, and the rabbit warren of Rochdale bus station's (now closed) subways.
For the most part of this site, the colour scheme owes more to the older 1974 - 1980 livery, with its greater use of white, and brown being used on the wheels.
'The Travelling Poet'
The name was given to me by fellow creative Donna Williams in 2005. This was used in a email and the name has stuck. It refers to my nomadic nature, of travelling to Stalybridge Celtic's away games and the amount of journeys made on public transport.
"...Stuart is one of the most sparkly humans on the planet. He has a heart of gold, would befriend a wooden log and he spends his life making people smile, think and buzz..." - Donna Williams, 25 January 2008