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New double decker art bus is just the ticket in Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 15, 2014

  • bottom deck: Hayley inside the travelling art gallery.

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ARTIST Hayley Kendal has gone from robots and radiators to converting an old London bus into a travelling gallery.

The 34-year-old has been making mechanical characters out of salvaged metal – from guitar parts to toasters – at her Rust Bucket Workshop in The Leigh, near Minsterworth, for years.

But now she has turned her attention to a 1992 Leyland Olympus Alexander bus which will grace art and music festivals all across the country in the coming few months.

"When I first got it, the bus looked like a standard London double decker," Hayley said. "It had all the seats, was damp and smelly but we have taken the seats out and started to clad the walls.

"It is going to look like a proper gallery.

"We went into it completely blind and it is a bit of a dream of ours – it is something we have always wanted to do," added Hayley, whose partner and fellow artist Chris Walker is helping her on the project.

The couple had broken down in Quedgeley when they noticed the bus for sale and decided to buy it

A total of 50 artists have already put their names down to exhibit on board at eight locations, from Gloucester to Blackpool.

The bus, known as the Rusty Alexander, will boast units made from reclaimed wood and old suitcases to exhibit a range of creations, from 3D sculptures to paintings and textiles.

She said the bus will also act as a "shop front" for the work she, Chris and other artists create.

The former South Glouc- estershire and Stroud College student, added: "We want to cater for everyone. It won't be a white-walled gallery where everything looks the same and costs hundreds of pounds, it will be a real eclectic mix.

"We think it will just evolve over time and will have curiosity stuff too, so there will be a mix of old and new. We want to make a space that once you walk in you won't want to leave. We just want to create somewhere that is welcoming, warm and full of artists.

"I couldn't believe the response I have had. When I first bought the bus I emailed artists who I admire and the response has been amazing – they all wanted to be a part of it."

Hayley has recruited friends to drive the bus until she has gained her Category C driving licence.

She hopes the bus will be at Gloucester's SportsBeat festival in June.

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  • Glosislovely  |  March 15 2014, 11:51PM

    Its a Leyland Olympian. Sometimes referred to by the name lympalong.