Here I have paraphrased Jean-Paul Satre because in his play Huis Clos, or No Exit, he doesn’t actually mean people are the absolute worst when one of the characters says “L’enfer, c’est les autres” but in this case that is exactly what I mean.
There I was going on my first excursion outside in about 5 days due to the fact that I have underlying conditions. The sun was out, the breeze whipping through my wispy geography teacher style hair (cheers lockdown!) when I noticed the first idiot coming for me.
It was a middle aged woman who for some unknown reason crossed the road and walked straight towards me. Not 2 metres in front or behind me but exactly to my location. Luckily for the lady, I didn’t have The Answerer with me, a hefty blackthorn staff blessed by the gods who just loves being used to beat the stupid out of people especially when they don’t adhere to scientific recommendations. Think Thor’s hammers Mjolnir or Stormbreaker but instead of the unworthy not being able to pick up the weapon, the unworthy get a knock upside their head in the hopes it might shake loose some intelligence….
It is A2 in size and made using pencil, watercolour, acrylic and spray paint
There is a house in New Orleans they call the Rising Sun. But that’s not important right now. What is important is the ‘House of Requirements’. It has the ability to produce whatever it is you’re looking for whenever you need it but the key is knowing where to look. Literally anything may be found. The list of potential objects is effectively infinite. All that is required is a rich desire to find said object. In the case of failure it just means you haven’t looked hard enough. A workable solution always presents itself. It’s weird but it’s true. I know because I live there. Sometimes.
All this from some weird desire to produce something to respect the actual building that provided a roof over my head for so many years. And there you have it. It’s odd being an artist sometimes…
In the middle of the Irish Sea is the beautiful Isle of Man. Now, legend has it that the island is protected by an ancient sea god called Mannanan Mac Lir (‘son of the sea’). He’s pretty baddass as he’s got a boat named Scuabtuinne (‘wave sweeper’) which works without sails, a sea-borne chariot drawn by his horse Enbarr (‘water foam’), a sword called Fragarach (‘the answerer’) and it is said that with the sword at their throat no one could move or tell a lie, thus the name Answerer. The sword was also said to place the wind at the user’s command and could cut through any armour or wall and that it inflicted piercing wounds from which no man could recover. He also had a cloak of invisibility (‘feth fiada’) which he could throw over the entire island as an all encompassing mist to hide the island from enemies. Like I said he pretty much had it all going on. Oh, and he had a flaming helmet to top it all off.
If all that isn’t enough in itself to create a design based on Mannanan then the fact that I’m from the Isle of Man myself should probably clinch it. It was originally going to be a wall design but I think it may need adapting somewhat for that to be the case. Perhaps a sticker? The latin text is the manx motto which roughly translated reads ‘however you throw me I shall stand’. So there you go.
So in an update to yesterday’s post the cat has now taken control of the stickers. She’s definitely more agile and fearless when climbing stuff than I’ll ever be but I fear she’ll have problems getting the backing off. Only time will tell. If she succeeds I for one welcome our new feline overlords.
So here it is – our finished piece for Islexpo and Year of our Island. We went for a kind of vintage travel poster look in the end with some abstract land, sea and air (I had to get some stripes in there somehow!) and a mysterious looking lady presenting the magical kingdom of Mann to you. A great day all in and even the weather was playing ball. What more could you want?
On the face of it the triskelion or triskele as it’s also known is just a motif with three-fold rotational symmetry. It is, of course, much more than that. It is the headquarters of S.H.I.E.L.D in the Marvel Comics and film franchises, it is the national symbol of Sicily (where is is called ‘trinacria’) and different versions of it have been found in cultures worldwide for thousands of years.
More importantly however it is also the national symbol of the Isle of Man where it’s known as the ‘Three legs on Mann’ and a version with armoured legs with yellow flourishes is featured on the flag against a plain red background. The Sicilians also feature a triskele on their flag but theirs has bare legs, the face of Medusa, three ears of wheat and they favour a yellow and red background. Which makes it all sound a bit busy for my liking.
Anyway today’s piece is a manageable A3 in size was inspired by all the above nonsense. Drop us a line if interested…
In the Isle of Man there is something of a superstition whereby Manx people can’t say the name of one of those little furry things that were blamed for the Black Death, pestilence in general and a whole host of other nefarious things. The reasons for this have dissipated into the mists of time but the superstition remains and due to this quirk in Manx folklore there are a number of socially acceptable local alternatives which include joey, longtail,ringie, iron fella and roddan. Recently young people have also begun saying r-a-t, owing to the influence of English immigrants but older people on the Isle of Man don’t tend to listen to those Jonny come-overs too much and certainly not on such serious subjects as these little buggers. There is a comparable taboo against uttering the word ‘rabbit’ on the Isle of Portland. Here ends the lesson.