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.
In 2001, Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry determined that the average colour of the unirvers was a greenish white. It came to light just a year later that they corrected their own flawed analysis and reported that their survey of the light from over 200,000 galaxies averaged to a slightly beigeish white.
It turns out that wasn’t even the focus of their studies but I guess sometimes you learn what life throws your way. Now, quite what that means for us I’m not quite sure. It’s actually been called ‘cosmic latte’ which sounds better than beige. Saying that I had to work with ‘sahara beige’ as that was the closest colour match I could find. So there you have it.
Created on A2 paper using the magic of spraypaint, stencils and imagination. Drop us a line if you’d like to give this bad boy a new home…
‘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.
I can only assume that the planets are coming into alignment for id-iom as whilst we’ve been back home for the TT we’ve also been in discussions with various local luminaries in order to secure any wall spaces to paint and we finally triumphed in the face of adversity. So, when we finally managed to wrangle permission to paint a big wall down a tired and somewhat unloved passageway in central Douglas which is officially called ‘Guttery Gables’ (although there are many more colourful local names for the lane which are probably best not mentioned here) we thought we’d best act swiftly before they realised what they’d let themselves in for.
After being granted permission on Saturday we decided that we should paint as soon as possible and so set ourselves the deadline of painting on Monday and so had just a couple of days to come up with a design and make the necessary preparations. The space is perfectly positioned so you see the wall directly ahead of you when you enter the alley so we needed to come up with something that had a big impact and brought some colour to an otherwise nondescript back alley.
After much deliberation we finally hit on Oscar Wilde’s quote from ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’:
‘We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars’
The quote seemed pretty fitting considering the alley’s name and once we’d combined that with the gargantuan face of a young lady with stars in her eyes we had just about what we were aiming for. After adding a few triskeles to give it that Manx touch and an Oscar Wilde tag to attribute the quote we were good to pack up and move on. Big thanks to Charles for helping us out with this one…
We’re at home for TT week but that doesn’t mean we’ve been entirely idle. After rooting about in the garage we came across some boards and we thought we might as well give them a new lease of life. As is sometimes our preferred route of creation we decided to just attack the boards with no particular plan in mind and see what revealed itself.
As in most cases when we don’t have a plan we somehow ended up painting a girl. There’s no need to fox ourselves before we’ve even stared now is there? The words in the background were added by Sholto who practised his free form writing. I believe it has something to do with her dead Grandfather, stars, loss and only knows what else. The sun was out and the beer was flowing by this point and things were getting rather free and easy and we were still only painting the background.
Somehow we managed to get it finished before we’d had too many beers and even managed to come up with some leather laces and a drill for the hastily conceived id-iom necklace that she is wearing. We’ve still got a while left at home so I’m hoping we can sweet talk our mother in to collaborating with us on a piece. Watch this space…
I’m not sure if it seems apparent with the finished piece but I was a bit giddy when I started painting this, as it was the first wall we’ve tackled this year, and just started chucking paint at the wall with no ongoing plan whatsoever. Before I knew it I’d managed to cover the entire wall with a garish bubblegum bright patchwork of colour.
I do wonder what I was listening to at that point and after a bit of a sit down decided that it was all a bit bright and fancy so I needed to take it a little darker. I finally struck upon the idea of having a lady who, on the face of it is all bright and sparkly but, in fact, harbours some dark desires. With some snippets of text in between the bright patches, some black stencils to indicate the darker undercurrents and a quote from Macbeth over the whole thing it was time to step back and call it done. As this is in the basement of our local pub i’m hoping it should remain in place for a good while to come. Right, what’s next?