John Britten's V1000 - currently on display as part of GREAT BRITTEN! A work by Billy Apple - doesn't just look impressive. Journalist Nick Ienatsch, who rode the Britten for an article in Sport Rider magazine in 1995, wrote of how the racetrack crowd ran to the pits to see and hear the bike start up: "I wondered if a NASCAR engine had just fired up; the Britten spewed sound like a fire hose gushes water."
Click on the PLAY button above and have a listen to it flying past and idling.
Image: Britten V1000 installed in GREAT BRITTEN! A Work by Billy Apple at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, July 2016. F002–92 collection of Kevin Grant. Photo: John Collie
Great Britten! A work by Billy Apple
Billy Apple blurs the line between life and art with a new installation that celebrates the triumphant, record-shattering 1995 campaign of the Christchurch-designed Britten V1000 motorbike.
We’re extremely pleased to have Billy Apple’s GREAT BRITTEN! exhibition at the Gallery. A celebration of the ingenuity of the bike’s builder, John Britten, that blurs the line between life and art, it’s drawing bike lovers and art lovers alike into the Gallery in droves. And it’s pretty clear that, although not everyone is up for building a superbike in their garage, lots of you really love your wheels.
The record-setting superbike that stunned the world is coming to the Gallery as part of a new exhibition by acclaimed artist Billy Apple, with a special sneak-peek event happening this Thursday 14 July.
Fly Shit on the Windscreen
In February 2016, Bulletin sent graphic designer and motorbike enthusiast Luke Wood to sit down with artist Billy Apple to discuss bikes, and in particular the Britten V1000. Designed and built in Christchurch by John Britten, the V1000 is the star of Apple’s new exhibition, Great Britten! A Work by Billy Apple. The following extracts were taken from the conversation.
On a recent trip to Wellington to attend the excellent Van der Velden symposium at Te Papa I saw the Britten motorcycle on display and was instantly reminded of one exhibition that was in the pipeline here at Christchurch Art Gallery prior to the big shakes, an exhibition that involved Billy Apple and the Britten motorcycle titled Great Britten!