The Cycling Artist

Timmy Mallet - The Cycling Artist

Probably better known for his Wacaday antics, Timmy Mallett showed a completely different side to his persona in the “Cycling Artist” on Friday 10th May in Cookham’s Pinder Hall. Taking his audience through the early formative years of his career as maverick radio DJ, number 1 hit and television star, rubbing shoulders with his equally unconventional and talented co-stars, he led us effortlessly to his decision to conquer the “Way of St James” – the Camino de Santiago, but on a bicycle. And not only to cycle the journey from Cookham to Santiago de Compostela but to record his journey in paint. This was all part of his desire to ‘reach his potential’ and was inspired by his brother Martin, who despite suffering from Downs Syndrome and dementia, strived to live each day to his full potential.

5 days before the off and Timmy described how he was completely stunned by the sudden death of Martin. The trip was delayed and at this sombre point Timmy allowed the audience, who were transfixed by his story-telling, to take a break.

Re-scheduled for a few weeks later, the journey started from Cookham, after suitable religious and political blessings (Theresa May visited to wish him well, as did a number of celebrities). And now, powered by his boundless enthusiasm Timmy described the people he met and places he visited, by projecting images of the paintings made on this painting pilgrimage. A particularly touching moment was when he told the audience that, having found a bundle of Martin’s name labels, he left them at strategic points along the route: squeezed into cracks in walls or entwined into vineyard cables. And in a cathartic moment for Timmy he described how he placed two stones, carried from the UK, one for Martin and one for himself, at the base of the Cruz de Ferro, the highest point on the Camino route.

Flanked on one side of the stage by an enormous painting of Mont Saint-Michel and on the other by the towering spires of the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela, Timmy took his audience through the sun, wind, rain and sleet as well as the physical demands of his epic journey, finally to end the journey at Santiago de Compostela. A magical telling of a wonderful story of determination and talent.

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