The Ghost of Pete Townshends Guitars.

The Ghost of Pete Townshends Guitars 1
Cast glass (pate-de-vere), LED lights, Guitar case

PT guitars)

The Ghost of Pete Townshends Guitars 2
Cast glass (pate-de-vere), LED lights, Guitar case

A.Graves-Johnston_Ghosts of P.T.guitars no.2

3/4 size ghost guitar
Cast glass


Back in 2010 in I submitted a piece to the Victoria & Albert Museum’s annual art competition ‘Inspired By” for people on part-time courses. The final piece that I submitted was selected and displayed for a month. They also took an edited version of the video I made, detailing the ideas, processes, research and making of The Ghosts of Pete Townshends Guitars (TGOPTG) and showed it alongside the piece.

The Ghost of Pete Townshends Guitars have had different incarnations, the first showing was at GHost in the belfry, St Johns Church in Bethnal Green in December ’09. The second being the Illumini’s Secret Subterranean London show in September 2010 and the third in V & A Inspired By show in October of the same year. The Illumini show was more of an installation piece with the 3rd version of the boxed ghosts and the 3/4 size glass guitar which I had also cast in glass.
The piece came about as I say from the competition which is to make something inspired by an object in the V & A collection. My first idea was to cast in glass the shrapnel holes on the outside of the stone building which have been left over from the 1940 blitz but then I was told that, that had already been done, so I spent a day wandering around the museum and as amazing as the collection is I didn’t see anything that fired my imagination until I went into the theatre and performance department. One of the first things I saw was Pete Townshends broken guitar, of course I knew of his ritualistic smashing of guitars at the end of his gigs but never expected to find one there. He was a student of Gustav Metzger who created Auto-Destructive Art.
I thought “A dead guitar! hmmm, What happens when you kill a guitar? Especially one that has been played with such enthusiasm, passion and energy. What happens to the soul or ghost of that guitar and how would it look? Thus the idea of the ghosts of a guitar started to come about.
Reviews Crafts Council and Evening Standard

Some Bronze


025-Rave Angel


Untitled Warrior


















Rave Angel                                                                                                                              Untitled Warrior



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Our parents didn’t teach us about death they gave us pets or Winter is coming..

Mausoleum with video screen and ‘crying’ window.

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This work came about after the sudden and unexpected death of my dog. It deals with grief, mourning and the inescapable fact that we all, throughout our lives, experience the death of loved ones and will eventually succumb to it ourselves.

“We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else”. ~Sigmund Freud (1961)


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Winter is coming

This generally expresses the sentiment that there are always dark periods in each of our lives, and even if things are good now (“summer”), we must always be ready for a dark period when events turn against us (“winter”).

In this sense “winter” parallels Richard of the House of York’s opening line in Shakespeare’s Richard III,

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

In this sense it is loosely matched by the Latin phrase “memento mori” (“remember you have to die”), which was whispered into the ear of victorious Roman generals during their parade of triumph, to remind them that all earthly success is fleeting.

This is a reference to the fact that we will all die sometime and the inevitability of this and of the coming to terms with the fact that we are all mortal and death affects us all. All through our lives we have to face this fact as those around us succumb. When this happens we suffer but have to continue, after winter there is spring and summer when life is good again but we never really forget the winter months.


Glass Eats Light.

Glass Eats Light is a quote from the renowned Swedish glass artist Bertil Vallien. The properties of glass are many, it is brittle but incredibly strong, it can be transparent but also opaque, and it can alter light, reflecting, bending or absorbing.
Light, crucial to the artist, its what enables us to see, so when it is distorted it distorts reality, glass in many ways is like film and video its properties are much the same as both need light to function properly.



Connections Collections

"Theres always a story. It's all stories really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything's got a story.
Change the story, change the world.
Terry Prratchett Granny Weaverwax 'A Hat Full of Sky'
“Any collection comprises a succession of items, but the last in the set is the person of the collector.”
Jean Baudrillard