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…
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.
‘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
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.
Title: Here is beauty indeed
Materials: Acrylic, paint pen, watercolour and charcoal
Size: 91cm x 117cm
Please email if interested
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.
Title: Index to the streets
Materials: Acrylic, paint pen, spray paint and charcoal
Legend has it that shortly after Crawley was made a borough in 1974 the newly anointed mayor was presented with a modified coat of arms and map of the local area – both bearing Crawley’s motto ‘I grow and I rejoice’ (which, as I’m sure we all know is a translation of a phrase from the Epistulae of Seneca the Younger). The coat of arms has always been on display at the Town Hall whilst the map disappeared shortly after it’s initial presentation in somewhat murky circumstances during a drunken pub fight.
After investing a significant amount of time and effort in research and archaeology id-iom is proud to announce the recovery of this historically important document. It was discovered stuffed down the back seat of a decaying Ford Cortina and has clearly suffered from both the ravages of time and exposure to the elements. The people of Crawley can now rejoice however as the the map will soon be reunited with the coat of arms and the prophecy that has long been foretold may now come to pass.
Well, that’s my story and i’m sticking to it…
Title: I grow and I rejoice
Materials: Stencil, spraypaint, screen print & paint pen
Size: 47 x 43cm on an old map of Crawley
Please email if interested
I think the answer to the question ‘If I asked you to jump off a bridge, would you?’ would be something along the lines of ‘Am I going to be attached to a bungee cord’ or ‘how high is it? Is there water below?’. However, if the bridge in question was some kind of bridge/woman hybrid I’m not entirely sure of the correct response. Especially if she herself was asking. She could be an evil yet alluring bridge/woman hybrid who gets some deranged pleasure by watching people leap to their doom from her sturdy girders. I think I’d require a little bit more information before taking the leap…
She’s about 63 x 48 cm in size and has been completed using screen printing, acrylic paint, stencils and paint pen on a vintage National Geographic map of the southwestern United States. I just love working on these old maps…
Materials: Screen print with acrylic, spray paint and paint pen
Size: 63 x 48 cm
Please email if interested
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