The Thrill of It, &

The Thrill of It, 'The Obituary'

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© Rachael Clegg
Isle of Man, U.K. 2015
The Thrill of ItMilestones series

Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity

The Obituary is from the 2022 Milestones collection which, unlike the rest of the series was shot not on the Isle of Man TT course but across dozens of locations of historical significance to the TT. In this collection, riders, manufacturers and engineers all play a part in a plot culminating on that sacred stretch of 37 and three quarter miles of road: the Isle of Man TT course. These images offer a glimpse into the story behind the story.

The Story / Motor Cycling magazine ran an obituary on Howard Davies, reporting that: 'all motorcyclists who knew him in the old days will share with us keen regret for the loss of this promising rider.' But in fact, Davies was alive. He was captured and sent to Karlsruhe in Baden, Germany and - after numerous failed escape attempts - was freed after Armistice in 1918. He returned to the motorcycling industry in 1919 and won the 1921 Senior on a 350cc AJS. Then, in 1925 he entered his own machine - named after his own initials, H.R.D - and finished second in the Junior race. In 1928 H.R.D was bought by Philip Vincent, who renamed the motorcycles ‘Vincent HRD’ and eventually just ‘Vincent’. As a reminder of his fate, Davies carried this obituary (though not giant-sized) in his wallet for the rest of his life.

Rachael Clegg’s photography series The Thrill of It is one of gritty naked glamour and celebrating the pursuit of motor racing in all its thrilling, unadulterated glory. Clegg’s black and white nude images illustrate historical stories from the Nürburgring’s and TT’s combined history of 212 years (the Isle of Man TT started in 1907; the Nürburgring’s first race was in 1927).

Rachael Clegg has carved out a unique art form for herself, fusing fact and imagination to create bold, often absurd images which are almost always accompanied by text. A trained journalist with an art-school background, Clegg’s work embraces journalistic curiosity with unshackled creativity.

Watch / Rachael Clegg at Proud Galleries
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Rochdale Online
The Telegraph
Isle of Man

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