A little while back we did a commission screen print piece featuring a couple of friends who had gone on to become teachers. Since I already had the screen exposed and ready to print I thought I might as well use these two likely looking ladies on a couple of other pieces just for my own amusement. It just seemed a shame to break the screen down after just one use. So I didn’t.
Anyway, here’s ‘From Brixton to Hong Kong’ on some hand made rag paper that I’ve had knocking about for ages. If you’ve been to the bustling metropolis that is Hong Kong perhaps, like me, you were taken aback by just how many people, tiny flats and huge skyscrapers they can fit into such a small space. That and the fact that they use bamboo scaffolding. That stuff just looks plain scary.
Hip to be Square
As Huey Lewis once sang in his classic 80’s ditty ‘Hip to be square':
I used to be a renegade, I used to fool around
But I couldn’t take the punishment and had to settle down
He tells us this before going on to repeatedly remind us how hip it is to be square. He then serenades us with how he likes his bands in business suits, is working out every day and watching what he eats. It would seem like the wheel has gone full revolution since Huey’s paean to conformity in the 80’s because now it seems every other person is either a geek in an ironic t-shirt, a hipster complete with skinny jeans, beards & glasses or a gym bunny or possibly some arcane combination of the three. A musclebound geek with an ironic t-shirt, beard, glasses and skinny jeans with a pop-up fairtrade coffee stall is probably already a thing.
Just in case you need reminding, here is Huey Lewis and the News in all it’s glory:
Title: Hip to be square
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, spray paint and charcoal
With the spectre of gentrification hanging over the railway arches in Brixton we went down to do our small part to raise the profile of the #Savebrixtonarches campaign by painting up some shutters alongside a few other artists. It may not be much against the juggernaut of urban redevelopment but it gets us out of the house on a Sunday at least.
Once we’d arrived and found our spot we managed to draw some inspiration from the red and blue ‘HOT’ and ‘COLD’ lettering above the shutters to give us a colour scheme to work with and some idea of where we were headed. After we’d got that much nailed it was pretty much plain sailing. This design is reasonably minimal for us and it took a fair amout of willpower to overcome the urge to get a load more paint on the shutters and just walk away once it was completed. Righto, what’s next?
Cheers (and a big thanks to Monoprixx for taking the shot!)
Athena and the Lady of the Lamp
There I was tidying up my front room and it came to the onerous task of cleaning the coffee table. The table was pretty filthy and I just couldn’t be bothered to sit there scrubbing away with cleaning products but thankfully an idea popped in to my head. What if i just quickly sanded down the surface and gave the table top a new lick of paint?
With nothing more in my head than the willingness to throw some paint around I started with gusto but the realisation slowly dawned on me that I didn’t actually have anything in the way of a plan. To remedy this I had a swift glance through my little book of ideas and struck upon a small nugget of information that I’d jotted down that was somehow to become the basis for this piece; Florence Nightingale used to have a pet owl named Athena which she rescued from children outside the Pantheon in Athens hence the owl’s name. Florence loved the little owl and she went on to become the famous British nurse whose name is now synonymous with the word ‘mercy’. That was all I needed in the way of inspiration so here you have a somewhat abstract version of Florence and her pet owl, Athena. If you want to discover the sad fate of Athena then you simply must read this article.
Title: Athena and the The Lady with the Lamp
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, spray paint and charcoal on wooden board
Size: 122 cm x 117 cm
We said we wouldn’t. But we did it anyway…
If you keep up with our shenanigans at all you may be thinking that you’ve seen this image before. And you’d be right. We did it as a street piece in the East end a few weeks ago alongside a piece by WRDSMTH who was over from LA. After we finished we went to the Old Blue Last to wet our whistles and as we were enjoying our cold beverages WRDSMTH asked us if we’d use the image again and we said we probably wouldn’t as we tend to only use things once and then move onto something else and he couldn’t really get his head around it. Anyway, we agreed to do an art swap and needed to come up with a suitable design. Despite the fact we said we wouldn’t we decided it would be quite fitting to do a paper version of the street piece we did for him. So there you go.
We’re currently awaiting his return piece but i’m pretty sure he’ll pull something suitable out. Let’s just hope it arrives safely.
Title: We said we wouldn’t but we did it anyway
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, ink, charcoal, Tipp Ex, silver leaf and Spray paint
With a rainy Good Friday predicted for Manchester we thought the omens sounded good for a spot of clean graffiti for the upcoming BL9 music weekender (in Bury FC’s ground in June) so we got on a train and headed up north. We hadn’t really done much with the reverse/clean graffiti technique before but are fairly well versed with using stencils so thought it would be pretty straightforward. We had a list of places to hit and were eager to get started. After sorting a man, a van and a power washer we were good to go.
I thought the main problems on the day would be finding somewhere to pull up by the road and filling up with water whereas it turns out that our biggest issue was, in fact, finding the correct kind of dirty pavement to work with. With a limited supply of water that took ages to fill we had to pick our spots carefully as wasting water and time was not really an option when we had a load of impressions to get done. Despite being soaked from head to toe by the end of the day we were all experts on the relative merits of different paving and how effectively the power washer would work. You live and learn…
Apparently if you took all the gold in the world that has ever been mined and turned it into a cube it would have sides just over 20m long. Which isn’t really all that much when you think about it. Although it would be worth over $8.5 trillion. Which is rather a lot when you think about it. You’d certainly want to keep it somewhere safe.
Anyway, today’s piece has some precious gold leaf on it which makes it pretty fancy if you ask me. And it features a serene looking lady buddha who’s probably having some pretty profound thoughts about enlightenment and reincarnation. I, on the other hand, am saving my profound thoughts to see if I can decide what to have for lunch.
Bonus fact: the original write up for this piece had the words ‘shit weasel’ and ‘slovenly tadpole’ in it. Which makes it sound exciting but unfortunately they were the high points and the above is probably more appropriate….
Title: Lady Buddha
Materials: Paint pen, water colour, gold leaf and charcoal