Clarke has, and he has seen it so acutely that the results are like pictures from another world. In "Blood Red Road, Barnsley", the painted brick wall topped by shards of glass is like a Rothko; its companion piece, "Yellow Brick Road" (the painted steps of terracing from Bradford City's ground), is as luminous as a Matisse from Morocco. The colour prints shine as if lit from within, and a burger stall outside Highbury looks as if it's part of an avant-garde stage-set. In "High Noon in North London", Arsenal play out their game against a mauve sky so unreal that you half expect a celestial whistle to emerge from the heavens and call time.
There are fans: fattie Toon Army-ites bearing their beer-guts proudly; mustachioed scousers pinned back in their queue by a police-horse's arse at Everton; a whole stand of punters all looking to their right as if lit by Caravaggio. There's architecture: the stained-glass gent's at Aston Villa; the art nouveau players' bathroom at Ibrox with tile-work that any yuppie would die for.
The long views that Clarke favours mean that you often get a Subbuteo perspective on the game, with players frozen in plastic postures and the Tango-orange uniforms of stewards making them appear injection-moulded. There's humour too, as in "The Fly Past: Blackburn over Burnley", where high above the panorama of the relegation struggle is a plane flying a banner reading: "Staying Down Forever, Luv Rovers Ha Ha Ha". There's also a great pic of Vinnie Jones being chinned by a team-mate in a Yorkshire derby.
The exhibition has been suitably localised, with pictures from both Bristol teams and Bath City and a companion exhibition of local memorabilia. There's a wealth of additional amusements too, such as a real Subbuteo table and an exhibition of team shirts. This is a wonderful exhibition, and at pounds 200- pounds 400 a pop the prints would fly out of the ground if displayed in London. I mean, if you're unfortunate enough to support Arsenal, could you resist pounds 300 for the Whistleresque aesthetic alibi of "High Noon in North London"?
The exhibition continues until 24 May, ph 0117-922 3571Reuse content