The X Factor

Cars

Portuguese artist Miguel Palma is fascinated by technology and the way that it affects people’s lives. So when he found his 1963 Jaguar Mark Ten in his native Lisbon, a natural curiosity about the graceful beauty’s lineage led him to create his latest exhibition, which is currently showing at Coventry’s Warwick Arts Centre.

Inspired by the Jag’s weighty charisma, the artist decided to trace the car’s journey from its birthplace in the Coventry Jaguar factory to a dealership in Paris and eventually into the hands of the owner of France’s biggest chocolate factory.

The Chez Wonka connection is just one interesting byway down which the Jag has driven – the exhibition includes Palma’s drawings about cars and technology as well as archive material from the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Centre in Browns Lane, Coventry. There is also film of the car’s journey back home to the West Midlands, where it forms part of the Heritage Centre’s collection in its own right.

And it seems to makes sense to us. Truly classic cars have a tons of charisma, the sort of panache that is manifest when passionate and creative design is crossed with a rich life-history.

Why shouldn’t the stories of cars, their owners’ lives and the complexity of that connection be discussed in the same way as, say, a painting or a static sculpture?

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