Cole Denyer’s The Common Place is a series of works based around the Special Demonstration Squad, initiated by Wilson’s Labour government in 1968 to infiltrate British Protest groups & Left-wing operations, and closed in 2008 by the National Domestic Extremism Unit.
On November 4th 2004, Lynn Watson, part of the NPOIU (National Public Order Intelligence Unit) became the founding director of Leeds Social Centre Ltd, a limited liability private company set up to run The Common Place, a social centre & grassroots political project in Leeds. The Common Space subsequently closed in 2008 due to ‘disruptive undercover police infiltration’ & is now the site of both Serf & Wharf Chambers.
Watsons’ portrait depicts her as Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) when engaging in days of action against MP Hilary Benn in Leeds & at American spy base at Menwith Hill, Harrogate.
One of the founders of the Clown Army, John Jordan (previously prominent within Reclaim The Streets) noted that she ‘was a totally bad clown, could not let go and be free, which is what clowns have to learn to do’.
The portrait will hang with various other SDS operatives (DJ Boogie Knights (or Boogieknight) & David Jones (‘Bob the Builder, Dave, Edge’) alongside portraits of child killer Ian Huntley imagined as David Beckham in the notorious 2002 Soham murders & Milly Dowler imagined as disgraced private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in the News International phone hacking scandal.