Following a recent exhibition we put on at blip blip blip of Rory Macbeth and Laura Lord’s much mythologised fake student Frances Neil – who was officially enrolled, though regularly marked absent, on the Central St Martins Foundation course over twenty years ago, I was able to get time to talk with Rory about not just this project but many of the almost mythical elements of his own life.
It’s fair to say that Rory was hugely influential to me on both artistic and educational terms – in fact without his intervention I may well have not completed my Fine Art degree. His non-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian attitude certainly saved me a couple of times, and I believe is a big part of the evident impact he had as an educator. Over the years he has mentioned odd bits and pieces of his past to me but wasn’t until now that I really got to find out his story in more detail. Though that being said, we probably only scratched the surface of it.