Insect Week day 3 and we’re back to Ladybirds – which are funny little things. In English they’ve been called ladybird, ladybug, lady beetle, lady clock, lady cow and lady fly. Apparently the name references the fact that the ladybird is red and so was the Virgin Mary’s dress when pictured in the Middle Ages. But that’s not what today’s mural is all about.
Today’s tale is a story as old as time, ladybird loves leaf but unfortunately that love is not reciprocated. An epic chronicle of love, longing, hunger, revenge and everything in between that spans the generations. Imagine Game of Thrones with ladybirds and you’re pretty much there. No one is getting out alive. That’s all I’ve got apart from this lovely mural but you’ve got to admit it would make a good show…
With BP and the other big petroleum conglomerates saying that we’ve reached peak oil consumption, that would seem like a good thing for all. For years petroleum oil has been known as black gold due the price it gets if you can just get it out of the ground. But as we now all know the use of petroleum in everything from plastic to petrol has been choking the planet for years.
Now with green energy coming to the forefront it seems to be the death knell for the industry and that can only be a good thing. Hopefully we as a population will lean in to renewable energy, along with changing our attitudes to things like fast fashion, cycling and eating less meat. We can only hope…
It is A5 in size and made using triblend markers, fine line pen and paint pen
Hmmmmm. Indecision, indecision, indecision. Perhaps you can help… We were asked if we’d like to head up to Nag’s Head Market in Holloway with a view to potentially chucking a bit of paint around. After having a look around and taking some measurements it was then time to try and decide what to do. Our first stop was to design a wallpaper stencil which can be liberally applied wherever we find a spot to tie the whole space together a bit. What we’re left with is this wallpaper design featuring a horse’s head (see what I’ve done there) and a little Love N7 logo in the centre.
My problems arise from the fact that I can’t decide what colour works best. Just about all of the walls are painted a dark green colour and I’ve turned myself around that many times trying to decide which colour works best that I’m now hopelessly confused. Perhaps someone else’s opinion may be of use before I go ordering a paint colour that just doesn’t pop nicely…
‘We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars’. You’ve got a love a good quote and I reckon this one from Oscar Wilde (from ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’) really nails it. A nice sentiment expressed beautifully.
So naturally I decided to complement his quote with some frogs who have formed a frog ladder in order to facilitate reaching for the stars. Which brings to mind another famous quote from Isaac Newton ‘If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants’. So there you have it. Oscar Wilde and a frog ladder. Two quotes in one really.
They’re A2 and are £130 if anyone wants to give either a new home.
With the ever looming threat of Brexit and constant mishandling of institutions like the NHS, some have started to think that this is the beginning of the end for our green and pleasant land and although I reckon that is a bit of an overstatement it’s certainly a worrying prospect.
Karen here has a superpower. She is a supremely sensitive empath and just can’t handle all these negative emotions swirling around the nation. She’s stopped looking at the internet, stopped watching TV, stopped listening to the radio, hasn’t read a newspaper in months and now just completely refuses to talk to anyone in case they overwhelm her with their dark emotions. In fact the only thing she does nowadays is volunteer at a cat sanctuary run by cats although she can only just about handle it when the kittens start play-fighting. Can’t we all just be nice?
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.
After being dispatched to our local corner shop to procure some Le Puy lentils for that evening’s curry I had reason to examine the dizzying array of canned food on offer in our local corner shop. Along with all the usual products they also have some particular goods that cater to the local Caribbean, Polish and Portuguese communities. It’s sometimes tricky to tell what some of the more exotic looking cans even contain. And that gave me an idea.
The 1973 film ‘Soylent Green’ starring Charlton Heston is set in a dystopian future where the earth is hugely overpopulated and there just isn’t enough food to go round. To try and solve this problem the Soylent corporation comes up with a new foodstuff called ‘Soylent Green’ which is ostensibly made from high energy plankton harvested from the world’s oceans. But that is not so, as we discover through Heston’s diligent detective work following a murder. He stumbles upon a bizarre state secret – that Soylent Green is made of people!
So, to celebrate both the incomprehensible range of cans on offer in our local shop and the 1973 film I came up with some Soylent Green cans for our local shop – complete with ingredients, nutrition information and cooking instructions. An internet search revealed that Polynesian cannibals used to call human flesh ‘longpig’ so I definitely had to include that (23% of the contents don’t you know!)
This image is based on a big wall we did for the Big Draw a few years ago and we were recently commissioned to do a new lime green and light grey version. I think my favourite aspect of this picture is the man’s desperation at his inability to tell her that they aren’t really lovers and are, in fact, just stencils. Life can be tough, can’t it?
Title: How can i tell her?
Materials: stencils and spraypaint
Size: 40 x 30 cm canvas
Graffiti small print – ‘Jean Paul Sartre as paraphrased by Cher’
As I’m sure we all know French existential philosopher Jean Paul Sartre once said ‘Words are loaded pistols’. I think we can all appreciate the sentiment behind this statement as surely we’ve all said something we regret every once in a while. And once those words are said the pistol has been fired and there’s no turning back.
Original image of Jean Paul Sartre which our design is based on
This design started life as the image of existential French Jean Paul Sartre’s head with his loaded pistol words alongside but as I love an earworm if I can possibly get away with it I took some inspiration from the world of music to see if I could get Cher’s seminal 1989 hit ‘If I could turn back time‘ playing unheeded in your brain.
In the song Cher utters the immortal words ‘Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes’ and this rang a bell in my brain as it seemed close enough to Sartre’s words to make use of. Hopefully that will strike a chord in your brain and you’ll be singing it all day. Mission accomplished!
Whilst we were painting it some hapless busybody decided to try and let me know that I’d misquoted Sartre but, of course, I hadn’t as she had neglected to read my ‘Jean Paul Sartre as paraphrased by Cher’ small print graffiti. id-iom 1 – random passerby 0. Ha! In your face!
On Saturday we packed up the id-iomobile with just about as much stuff as we could get in there (as we never like to travel light and be without something we may need) and headed for Peterborough for the Overground Arts paint jam. This collaboration piece was actually our second piece of the day and was painted alongside the ever affable Parlee. Our barely thought out plan was to have Parlee’s ‘Rocket’ character being attacked by our large and angry looking Godzilla. As we progressed we thought what better than having Rocket deal with two Godzilla’s – both of which were now to be sporting laser eyes. Whilst Rocket seems to be defending himself from the blasts his little fly companion seems to have suffered a direct hit. If it wasn’t for those pesky Godzillas…
We also had some added assistance from Process Smith in creating the clouds and rather surprised looking budgie at the bottom and Miss Wah for the kind loan of her bunny skull stencil which we turned into a little swarm of flying bunny skulls hovering near Godzillas’ head. Their intentions aren’t entirely clear but i suspect them to be evil.
Our ‘l’esprit de l’escalier’ moment came when driving back and we thought we should probably have added some parachute lines to Rocket. Ah well, c’est la vie…