Saturday, May 10

Three years ago

the artist known as Banksy wrote a slogan


on a disused water tank in Hollywood,
Conflicting reports circulated. The disinformation that I repeated was that a homeless man occupied the tank, Banksy's work resulted in his eviction and our heroic Banksy flew to the rescue by giving the man a home and also disowning the work so that it became devalued.

None of that turned out to be true.

An extraordinary character called Tachowa Covington, had lived in the tank for seven years but had moved out to a nearby cave before Banksy  'arted' it.

Tom Wainwright wrote a play about it

The Room In The Elephant 

An actor playing Tachowa Covington delivered an explosive monologue. Inconsistencies made it clear that this was not necessarily an account that could be relied on.

When the piece ended the story wasn't complete. We were then shown a film, a documentary made by amateur film-makers who'd met the homeless man when he was still living in the tank and had filmed him. We saw crazy, damaged Tachowa in the tank, he'd organised water, electricity, sanitation and had set up security cameras, he described how you go about making a living space in a cylinder

How you make a floor when it's curved ? you have to put ladders across that's what, make it flat. How you attached stuff to metal walls?  Magnets man you use magnets

The tank was was full of his art. The man flickered between shy child, king of the world and ranting madman, the actor had performed him brilliantly.

The film was made over a seven-year period, we see the film-makers going to his cave and showing Tachowa the news that a play is being written about him, Tachowa was then taken to Edinburgh where the show opened last year.


  1. Ghosts keep telling me I need to be in London. Why do you suppose this is?

    1. Because you'd have a gas in London


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