Although Michael had been born in London his somewhat eccentric Nigerian parents would always tell him ‘It began in Africa’. Of course Michael could only ever think of the song by the Chemical Brothers whenever his parents said it but then it would always be accompanied by a weird and wonderful African legend or morality tale.
His parents, it turned out, were truly encyclopaedic on the subject. Over the years he’d heard hundreds of these tales and decided to rate the nations involved on the quality of their storytelling. He had every intention of visiting them all, in the order he’d worked, to find out if he was right. This was going to take a while…
Made on a National Geographic map of Africa using the power of imagination, spray paint, stencils and acrylic. It is 48 x 63 cm in size. Drop us a line or it’ll be on our Big Cartel page soon.
When I originally found this map of Doncaster in a big box of assorted maps underneath my desk I thought ‘This is perfect’, I know a few people from Donny so I’m sure I can come up with something smart and urbane. Then, of course, inspiration deserted me and left me staring at a map of Yorkshire with no grand plan in sight.
After staring at the map for what could have been a week I decided to get in touch with someone from Donny to try and help me find a little inspiration. They gave me the following to work with:
1. Jeremy Clarkson – his mother had the Paddington bear factory
2. Kevin Keegan
3. Lesley Garrett
4. John Parr who did St Elmo’s fire tune, actually comes to our local pub
Very hard Hugo we are just a little mining town up North
And that was enough to get me on my way. First I thought I’d try the route of the Paddington Bear factory but sadly couldn’t come up with anything good enough, so moved on to number two but football is lost on me so I decided to move on to number three which didn’t really give me anything to work with either. This meant I had to try and come up with something using number four and I truly thought this would be the one. Who doesn’t like a catchy 80’s hit for inspiration? Again, however, I came up empty. I was just about to lose all hope of finding inspiration until I read the last line back to myself again and there it was…Just a little mining town up North.
A while back one half of id-iom started using maps as the background for a number of demotivational posters, the other half of id-iom is still working on his maps but hasn’t quite managed to get them finished yet. It seems we’ll have to keep our ears to the ground for them.
Anyway a collector from America got in touch because he needed that certain demotivational message for himself and his family for when things just got a little too much. Originally from the UK he asked us to use maps of where they live now or were born which was easy enough for us. I just hope the whole family aren’t staring at them right now just lounging on a sofa thinking that today is a waste and they should just call it quits. At least until tomorrow that is…
This piece doesn’t quite seem as relevant now at this point in the pandemic than when I started it back in week 1 of lockdown – but given my busy schedule I’ve only now got round to completing it. We always knew it was going to happen, the old ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ adage, but seeing Cummings and the like actually flaunt the rules and then make up creative reasons why their actions were completely reasonable is easily enough to get our collective indignation bubbling away.
So, given a map of London I thought it might be good to put this notion in a more graphical manner so you can easily determine if you are one of the hoi polloi or if you meet the requirements to do whatever you want wherever you like with whomever you see fit.
id-iom does not bear any responsibility for the geographical accuracy of this map however so you can stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
If you’ve not been to Crystal Palace Park and seen the dinosaurs then I highly recommend doing so. They’re concrete, life-size and in need of some restoration. By modern standards I guess they’re not that impressive but when you consider they were made 150 years ago – before they even really knew what most of these dinosaurs actually looked like – then I think that makes them all the more impressive. There’s even little information boards showing what we now reckon the animals really looked like and I love they fact they took some pretty dramatic artistic liberties.
The park itself is named after the famed Crystal Palace that housed the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park before being dismantled and reconstructed in South London where it sat from 1854 until it was destroyed by fire in 1936. The area is also famous for it’s TV transmitter which, at 219 metres, is the fourth tallest structure in London. The park also features in ‘The Italian Job’ in the scene filmed at the athletics track in Crystal Palace sports centre where Michael Caine says “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”. So there you have it. An ode to Crystal Palace.
Whilst trawling through a load of paper looking for a specific bit of artwork I thought I had lying around I came across this old unfinished piece. I used to love working on maps for a while and I have two boxes in the studio full of Ordnance Survey maps. Looking at this one now I’m not really sure where I was going with it but now it’s been rediscovered I suppose I’ll have to give it some sort of update or turn it into something else entirely. Hmmm, time to see if I can find the muse anywhere…
This is my favourite entry of the day. A slightly wonky looking Manx cat. ‘Nuff said.
We were at home on the Isle of Man recently for Islexpo and Year of our Island and were asked if we could come up with something interactive that could be taken round a few locations this summer. Our answer was an 8ft x 8ft magnetic blackboard (that has been handily crafted so it can be broken down for easier transportation – cheers Dean!) with a stencil of the Isle of Man so people could add a magnet for their favourite place or some chalk pens to add their thoughts or whatever they like about the island.
The first revelation is that you can get magnetic paint! And it works just fine. Nothing like live experimentation. The second is that we got away with including Blinky from The Simpsons out in the sea towards Sellafield. Win.
Let every man praise the bridge that carries him over – now on eBay
It’s funny what you find when you’re tidying up. Today I came across a file which had a load of stuff I thought we’d already sold in it. Now I’m going to remedy that so here’s the the ebay link…
First up we have ‘Let every man praise the bridge that carries him over’ which is an old English proverb as far as I can tell. In this case the bridge in question is 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…
It consists of some stencils, a bit of screen printing, some paint and some ink on an old National Geographic map of Antartica. She measures a wall friendly 62 cm x 48 cm and would look lovely once framed. It’s signed on the reverse.
‘We come in peace, shoot to kill!’. Lines immortalised by ‘Captain Kirk’ in the Firm’s 1987 hit ‘Startrekkin’. Now, whilst that song has thankfully been swallowed by the sands of time the sentiment expressed in those lines is still very much alive and well. It’s cats. They think like that.
Cats are inscrutable little suckers. Even at the best of times there’s just no telling what they’re thinking. When you think they’re being friendly they’re probably just demanding food or threatening to kill you. And if ever they do get opposable thumbs then we’re probably in for some serious trouble. I, for one, welcome our new cat overlords…
Title: We come in peace…
Materials: Spray paint, stencils, paint pen and watercolour paint on a section of map
Size: 50 x 45cm
Please email if interested
‘When two tribes go to war, a point is all that you can score’ sang Frankie goes to Hollywood in their 1984 hit ‘Two tribes’. And I think they’re onto something there. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows that sometimes war (in the form of a big brooding argument) comes to town. If you think you’re in the wrong it’s usually best to apologise and placate but when you think you’re right then it’s time to draw up the battle lines.
Once the battleground is been mapped out there’s nothing left to do but scrap it out until eventually an unholy compromise can be reached. This pair are currently in the stage where they are shouting the same accusations at each other but we can see this whole thing may, hopefully, just end up being a skirmish as their affection for each other is still clearly visible. Although the heart is black. Which could possibly be a bad thing. Only time will tell…
Title: Maps, DNA and spam
Materials: Stencil, spray paint, paint pen, charcoal and ink