Wednesday, 14 August 2013

TARDIS Artwork at Iowa State Fair

There's a long and honourable tradition of Doctor Who fandom in Iowa (Iowa Public Television was rerunning episodes from the series all through the Great Hiatus, not to mention a certain publisher of "fine SF non-fiction analysis and scintillating fiction"). Which makes it all a bit sad that the local press haven't quite figured out this whole science-fiction programme concept yet, as per this Des Moines Register article about a TARDIS at the Iowa Country Fair.

You know the drill: the suggestion that all Doctor Who fans have glommed on the label Whovians for dear life, check, not actually quoting from the interviewee except for the comment about how perplexed the wife is by this whole skiffy phenomenon, check, the dodgy comparison to Star Wars, check. The actual story here is about how a local artist called Shawn Palek who's won fifty medals at the Iowa State Fair for his artwork crafted something very much in line with his usual airbrush-on-canvas designs, just for fun (his online portfolio is well worth a look). This one happens to be three-dimensional and shaped like a police box, but saying it's "a science-fiction oddity adrift among the folk art" is somewhat missing the point. The writer's surprised comments about the pleasantly grandmotherly type who'd come especially to see the TARDIS hints at how much more complex real life stories than the simple, pre-written narratives it's so easy to fall into while doing this sort of piece, so kudos to him for recognising that when it happened. And they did think to include the link to Palek's Twitter, with rather lovely pictures of the fair and the TARDIS artwork itself (the inside is painted as well, with a multi-Doctor mural against an astronomical backdrop, aptly enough). Palek had been using it to try out a traveling art exhibit (dubbed "Traveling TARDIS") through Iowa, so it'll likely see quite a bit more of the state in time to come.

(Besides, if a Turner Prize winner can do it...)


John-Paul Blix said...

As a die-hard Whovian, I love that this was represented at my State Fair! Allonsy!

Tom Baumgartner said...

I wonder if it's bigger on the inside?