I think my psychic powers must finally be improving. Just a couple of weeks ago I cut a stencil of a winged lion and then, sure enough, just a few days later the biggest story on the internet is of the dentist from Ohio who illegally Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, Cecil, whilst on an illegal hunt. I think it fair to say the hunter has most definitely become the hunted and Mr Palmer will have to live in fear of his own safety for some time to come. I’m sure there’s something fitting and karmic in that. Anyway, here’s our little tribute to poor old Cecil who has undoubtedly become more powerful in death than he ever was alive. The force is strong in that one. And where better to put it than Cecil Road. In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. Wimoweh.
So there I was moseying down my street in the sunshine and ahead I spot my neighbour giving her street-side wall a nice coat of white paint to freshen it up a bit. One quick chat later and it appears I’ve got myself another little job. Given that it’s a fairly small wall a simple enough brief was all that was required. A little deliberation later and it was decided that it was to be the Groucho Marx quote ‘Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light’. That worked for me. All that was then needed was to find a suitably bold font and to actually get off the sofa to get it cut and sprayed. Once I’d achieved sofa escape velocity the rest was easy. So there you have it.
The Greenbeard Effect (id-iom @UPfest 2015)
Given our proclivity for leaving things to the last minute we were having a brainstorm in the pub on Tuesday for UPfest ideas when we somehow alighted on the idea of pirates as the infamous Blackbeard was allegedly from Bristol. It was a good start but we needed more. We then moved on to Bluebeard (not actually a pirate but an aristocratic murderer from a French fairy tale), then to Redbeard (a pirate plying his trade in the Mediterranean) and finally Greenbeard.
As it turns out there was no such pirate as Greenbeard but we did find out about ‘The Green-beard Effect‘. Which, to paraphrase something that sounds quite complicated when you read up on it, is that people like other people who share observable physical traits like blue eyes or, as in the name of the effect, a hypothetical green beard. With that as a vague plan we then came up with the idea of adding some actual greenery to give him a true green beard and an idea was born. A quick word with our trusty gardener friend John to secure some foliage later and the whole thing was a go!
Panorama shot of our side of the yard at UPfest 2015.
The original design which I’m only showing for completion’s sake as we didn’t have enough space to get the lettering in.
Cue some feverish design, the standard bickering over the final design and then some swift preparation and hey presto! We’re ready for another road trip. After a good night’s sleep (thanks to Jo & Al for putting us up!) we were down the Tobacco Factory fed, watered and ready to go by 10.30am. It was all going smoothly. Too smoothly. Something had to go wrong. And sure enough we had 10ft less space than we were expecting. Hmmm… What to do? We eventually decided on ditching the ‘Sexual Altruism’ lettering as it was too big. That was a shame but needs must and we went with just the two heads staring at each other to maximise the space to apply the green beard to. After the rain on Friday and the rain on Sunday it turned out that Saturday was a bastion of sunshine and we even have the cheap trucker tans to prove it.
As we were painting a few people asked if it was white Obama that we were painting. Not only would that be a strange concept to begin with he doesn’t have a beard and id-iom doesn’t really do political. Perhaps we should think again. Once we’d just about finished we whacked some LED’s in the eyes and some reflective paint as their laser like stare. I’d love to see if anyone manages to get a decent night shot…
As ever UPfest was a great day out and it’s always nice to put names to faces and chat to all and sundry. Thanks to the UPfest team for having us and Jake in particular for dealing with our whinging.
I think we found us a doppelganger!
The grim determination of self
On extremely hot days here in London things can get quite difficult as the city is generally built for enduring somewhat chillier weather. When the temperature does hit the heady heights of 30+ degrees it takes a certain kind of person to knuckle down and continue get shit done. To survive you’ll need ‘the grim determination of self’ which most folk just don’t have. Most people just call in sick and use the time to sit on their sofa in their underwear watching the tennis whilst simultaneously enjoying a cold beer and complaining about the unseasonal heat. I’ll readily admit that I don’t work well at high temperatures and have been known to do this quite often. When it comes around to the winter however I will also procrastinate saying it’s either too cold or to dark to work. As is life.
This isn’t the case for this fella though, he’s a straight up trooper, a soldier, a man of steel. When the chips are down, he gets up just so he can get down. That’s just the kind of guy he is. Although he’s not the most fun at house parties. It’s swings and roundabouts really isn’t it?
Title: The grim determination of self
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, ink, charcoal, silver leaf and spray paint
Amo, Amas, Amat (id-iom @ Whitecross Street Party 2015)
On Saturday it was that time of year again to once more make our way to the East end to paint at the Whitecross Street Party. We’ve done it a few times before so jumped at the chance to get the paints out again in central London. For ‘Amo, Amas, Amat’ we have a rather androgynous couple sharing a kiss but to make things a little more tricky for ourselves we thought we’d try something a little different and use pound shop polyfilla to try and add some texture to the faces. So with just a single tiny pallette knife with which to apply the filler and beer to keep it moist we set to work. Thankfully it was nice and sunny so the filler dried pretty quickly whilst we were busy chatting then it was time to re-apply the stencil, apply some shading then add some LED’s to give the eyes a little night time sparkle. As usual it was a great day out and the boards will be now mounted on walls around the area in the coming days so keep your eyes peeled…
Amo Amas Amat close up
Amo Amas Amat wip
The dead man staring back at me
It’s not often that I have a staring match with a dead guy but last Wednesday that is exactly what I did. After a business meeting in town I decided to head to the British museum for a look around. After dodging the OAP’s and children I came across a bust in an otherwise empty room of an unknown death mask. I was immediately transfixed and ended up staring at the fellow for a considerable amount of time until a small child ran in to the back of my legs. Never one to shout at a child I used a trick out of the OAP textbook and gave the child an evil stare whilst mumbling something unintelligible to myself. It worked and he scampered off in to the next room. Quickly, before anyone else could interrupt me I made a quick sketch and then moved on.
Back in the relative quiet of my house I was looking through my sketch book and came across the little doodle I’d done and decided I’d paint it up a little more. Its not in the exact style of our other work but I think I might paint this up much larger on a wall as I enjoyed throwing the paint about. Watch this space…
Title: The dead man staring back at me
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, ink, charcoal, Tipp Ex and spray paint
Sir Asmund Quayle – The patron saint of id-iom
It all began back in the summer of ’05 when we were just starting out on this career. At the time we were both working for the man, in dead-end office jobs and our fervour for life was on the wane. Whilst in the doldrums we went back home for a relative’s birthday party and whilst there came across a undeniable rogue of immense proportions, a true reprobate, a man who wallows in the murky grey underbelly of life. It was, of course, none other than Sir Asmund Quayle. Needless to say he was a delight to chat to and [3 paragraphs redacted]. After some hastily constructed explanations and a few secret handshakes the police agreed there were no charges to press and once the paramedic had finished her work and departed we all shook hands and had a good laugh at our immense stroke of good fortune. Naturally, given the situation, Sir Asmund was more than grateful and id-iom now had a very influential friend for life.
Of course this isn’t an actual likeness of Sir Asmund but more a totem/representation of him which we and others can use in everyday life. Remember this though – we all follow false idols.
Title: Sir Asmund Quayle – The patron saint of id-iom
Materials: Screen print, paint pen, acrylic and charcoal