Public Schools

Engraving in aluminium, Mattel plastic doll (1967), steel clip, Wills’s Cigarettes Card (1934),22 x 11 x 17 cm, 2016


This is a cigarette card from the second series of Arms of Public Schools featuring King’s School, Bruton, Somerset. The Kings School was where Michael David Irving Gass was educated before studying at Oxford and Cambridge. Gass was the penultimate High Commissioner of the Western Pacific and Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong from 1965 – 1969; he was the acting-Governor of Hong Kong during the riots in 1967 and the mastermind behind the crackdown on the riots.

The artist incorporates the words “Universities Army” which are taken from an advert for King’s Bruton which he found in a 1934 school handbook describing the then boys school as a place that prepares its pupils for Universities and the Army.

The plastic body is from Skipper, the sister of Barbie and was made in Hong Kong in 1967.