Monthly Archives: September 2013

Jack Mackem – The Sunderland Fitter

 

After a couple of years hiatus it was once again time for Upnorthfest. After the first one in Southport this time it was back but had gone further up north to Sunderland. After we’d loaded up the id-iomobile it was time to hit the road. A gruelling 6.5 hour drive saw us arriving around 1.30am where, thankfully, our gracious host was still up and receiving guests. (A big thanks to Pauline for putting us up and Frank for putting us in touch with her!)

The next morning we were up early and headed down to Studio Q where we’d be painting. Street work in late September is always something of a gamble so we were hugely relieved that it was blue skies and sunshine all round. We got shown to our wall but it hadn’t yet been painted with red oxide, the paint of choice for this year’s festival, so to start the day it was rollers at the ready with red oxide in hand. The first act of the day was managing to break the extendable roller so a quick trip to Homebase was in order. After that it was the laborious job of painting the wall with the glue-like red oxide.

Using the tower scaffold proved easier than anticipated once we’d managed to get the legs level and once the wall was dry it was time to move onto the main event – Jack Mackem the Sunderland Fitter. We’d done a little research in the hopes of coming up with a good design and it was revealed that historically the playing card the Jack of Clubs was also known as the Sunderland Fitter. Once we had this little nugget of information the design pretty much suggested itself.  The ‘Mackem’ ambigram in the middle was the final flourish and we’re left with the somewhat moody visage of Jack Mackem the Sunderland Fitter. As he’s the Jack of Clubs it’s probably fitting that he looks something like a bouncer. With any luck he’ll be gracing the streets for a couple of years so keep your eyes open if you’re up in the North East.

Cheers

id-iom

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Decision Paralysis

I’m sure we’ve all been put on the spot by a girlfriend, wife or significant other whereby they ask you a question which is so loaded that you’re just not sure the answer best to give. In these situations it’s usually a case of minimising the inevitable damage you’re about to cause. One good example of such a question that has become ingrained in popular consciousness is that of ‘Does my bum look big in this?’ The true answer to this is there is no answer, as anything you do say will be taken as an affront to her figure. Probably best to try and change the subject…

This poor soul has fallen for the trap and hasn’t managed to extradite himself to the car or another safe haven where he can pretend he has to do other things so he’s trapped in decision paralysis. He’d better come up with something quick as no reply is tantamount to saying ‘Yes’. You’ve been warned.

Cheers

id-iom

Title: Decision Paralysis
Materials: Paint pen, collage and charcoal
Size: A2
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Here is beauty indeed

Just check out this little lady – and what a beauty indeed. But she has another, darker side. One which you never want to come across. I once managed to fall foul of her wrath (accidentally!) and it was not a pretty sight. She was like the little girl, Regan McNeil, from the Exorcist and that’s no exaggeration. Because of this I thought of her when I came across this map of the Lake District and recalled Charles Avison‘s quote which was used by  William Gilpin in his book Observations, Relative Chiefly to Picturesque Beauty.

Cheers

id-iom

Title: Here is beauty indeed
Materials: Acrylic, paint pen, watercolour and charcoal
Size: 91cm x 117cm
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Filed under art, Graffiti, maps, Painting

Let every man praise the bridge that carries him over

Let every man praise the bridge that carries him over. In this case it’s an unusual woman/bridge hybrid and has carried him from one side of Antartica to the other. Now whilst this bridge may not appear entirely practical it still lets you traverse from one side of a continent to the other, which is certainly something considering how much capital building projects of this size tend to cost. Although saying that it’s not exactly apparent how you are meant to disembark from the bridge when you reach her face. It would seem perhaps some kind of nose ladder would possibly be in order. Either that or i’ve mixed my metaphors entirely and was trying to get across the notion that ‘behind every great man is a great woman’. I’m not entirely sure myself…

Cheers

id-iom

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Filed under art, Graffiti, maps, Painting, screenprint, stencil

Index to the streets

This map has been kicking around the studio for a while now just goading me to finish it and for a long time it has eluded me every time I try and try and formulate a plan to finish it. The map itself is of Horsham, Cranleigh and Ewhurst, which are places I’ve never been to and I’m blaming that fact for this piece’s extended gestation. No inspiration due to no experience.

No longer though. I recently went to bed and dreamed of the unknown lands of Horsham, Cranleigh and Ewhurst. A place of unicorns, squirrels the size of house cats and dogs in jumpers. A place where grown men whisper the songs of Justin Timberlake in the night time.

On waking the dream disappeared leaving only one abiding memory of the man who’d been my tour guide for my visit to unknown lands. So I hurriedly drew him on a piece of paper which was beside my bed and then later decided to transpose him onto the map. And there you have it.

Cheers

id-iom

Title: Index to the streets

Materials: Acrylic, paint pen, spray paint and charcoal

Size: 76cm x 51cm map

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Filed under art, Graffiti, maps, Painting

What are your plans?

What would you reply to this fella if he asked ‘What are your plans?’. Think carefully. I’m not sure if I would reveal my thoughts to him as he has very shifty eyes in my opinion. Saying that though if I had little else to do I might just tell him so and see what he had to offer instead as it could (possibly) be the most enjoyable night out of my life thus far. Then again it could be a look through his many photo albums of his trips to the local dump. Or something far more sinister. I suppose that’d be the risk. Would you throw the dice?

Cheers

id-iom

Title: What are your plans?
Materials: Acrylic, paint pen, spray paint and charcoal
Size: A2
Please email if interested

  • Duality (thisisidiom.wordpress.com)

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Duality

They say that two heads are better than one and that is normally the case but sadly not in this instance. Despite the fact it’s genetically impossible here we have male and female conjoined twins. And not just any conjoined twins, as they also happen to be both king and queen of wherever it is they come from. The problem is that they just don’t like each other and find it very hard to agree on anything. They can often be found deep in argument with each other and the rare times they are in agreement they draft a royal decree on the spot before either of them can change their minds. It’s all very tiring so I think now it’s time for a nap…

Cheers

id-iom

Title: Duality
Materials: Acrylic, paint pen, spray paint and charcoal
Size: A2
Please email if interested

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Duck!

After thinking about Donald Duck’s famously explosive temper I did a little research and found out that (amongst other things) that his birthday is Friday the 13th! Once I’d found that little gem out the idea for this piece pretty much formed itself.

Donald had been drinking hard the day it all started. He’d just found out that Daisy had, for decades, been embezzling money from his ever dwindling income streams and then came the final indignity when he caught her in bed with Huey, one of his nephews that he’d given so much to over the years. He just snapped. And it all gets out of hand from there…

This is most definitely a film I’d love to see made although I’m reckoning it will take a pretty big turn in Disney’s fortunes before they start pumping out the animated horror films. Will just one person who sees this ‘advert’ think so? I can only hope.

Cheers

id-iom

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The last line of defence (id-iom featuring Invader)

We’ve done a little interaction with this Invader piece before (see the video at the bottom of the post) but the buff man got it within a couple of days. Ah well, c’est la vie. Anyway, this piece is perhaps one of the most obvious interactions you could do with an Invader piece although a quick look on the internet revealed that, surprisingly, no one has come up with this little punchline before (as far as I can tell). So, after a particularly quick stencil cutting session it was time to get into town and get it done. I doubt whether this will last very long either but only time will tell.

Once we were all done there was only the inter id-iom Space Invaders challenge on the GameBoy to sort the men from the boys. Unfortunately I can’t reveal who the loser was…

Cheers

id-iom

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Who’s got a big mouth?

In WWII there was a common idiom ‘Loose lips sink ships’ meaning one should avoid careless talk as it may prove useful to the enemy. The focus of our picture never quite got the gist of this though. He’s something of a gossip and will, without doubt, repeat what you’ve told him to all and sundry as soon as your back is turned. In fact, most times he won’t even wait he’ll just shout it out parrot-like so every one in the vicinity can hear your tales of misery and woe. That said he is a very good friend in most other cases, totally selfless and as faithful as a swan. Just don’t tell him anything you don’t want the entire world to know…

Cheers

id-iom

Title: Who’s got a big mouth?
Materials: Acrylic, paint pen, spray paint and charcoal
Size: A2
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