After sleeping quietly in the corner of the studio for a couple of years it was time for Darren here to hit the streets. He’s been dreaming of busier times which have never quite materialised. Life is harsh Darren my friend…
He’s on plywood, was pretty tricky to produce and comes complete with lots of small nails and thread around the lettering. What on earth was I thinking? I can’t imagine what will become of him with all the sleeping he does but wish him all the best.
When we started working upstairs at the House of Pain(t) we invited a couple of friends along to help out. In one of the upstairs rooms Perspicere went to work doing a thread piece that my poor photography skills just don’t do justice to as it’s pretty elaborate and nebulous (it’s the thinner dark thread you can just about make out in the background). He even came back the next week to try and get it completed but then had to leave early due to a small domestic emergency. After doing pretty much all the rest of the house we had his not-quite-completed room to contend with. As there were so many nails in the walls and thread all over the place the only thing we could really do was continue his work to some degree.
So we decided to make it some kind of angel and ‘laser’ protected shrine to a strange canine king that is looking benignly down on a pair of kissing angels. It sounds odd now I’ve written it down but it seemed the only course of action we could reasonably take at that time. You have to use your imagination a little to pretend the red threads are laser beams protecting the shrine but i must stress that the effect is really much better if you see it in person (which you can’t). The angels had been lurking in the basement for some project that never came to pass and they just took up too much space to be transported onwards with us. I hope they’re happy.
We’ve used this stencil before for a commission on a wall in someone’s house but as we had only used it once and we need to fill all the walls in our studio building we decided to whip it out once again. This time though we thought we would try something a little different and incorporate a little thread to give the impression that the gun is going off.
The reason this came into being was because of articles I’ve read concerning America’s gun laws and specifically the shooting and subsequent death of black teenager Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in a gated community in Florida in February.
George Zimmerman was legally carrying a concealed weapon when he shot Trayvon Martin and was released Under Florida’s “stand your ground” policy, Mr Zimmerman was initially freed without charges, but due to outcry from many that included street protests which reminded many of the civil rights movement years before. This brought about the police chief being sacked and the prosecutor resigning. The stand your ground law expands on a centuries-old British legal principle that permits the use of deadly force in self-defence of your own home and also grants immunity from arrest, detention and prosecution. Due to the public outcry, six weeks later Mr Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder and is currently out on bail awaiting trial.
Professor Mark Hoekstra of Texas A&M University in Houston said making the use of deadly force permissible has come at a price. He studied its effect in 21 states:
“In terms of homicides, what we show…there is about an 8% increase in the homicide rate caused by these laws…that is about 600 additional homicides per year.”
Being from the UK we can only watch this kind of case and wonder. What on earth would London be like if people were legally carrying concealed weapons? We seem to have enough trouble as it is never mind if anyone over the age of 18 could legally buy themselves a gun…
Here’s a link to one of the articles on the BBC website.
If you’ve been down to Brixton Market any time recently you can’t help but notice the proliferation of quality independent food and drink establishments like Franco Manca and Honest Burger (to mention just a couple). So when we were asked if we’d like to paint up some walls in a new bar and tapas place called Seven at Brixton we jumped at the chance.
As usual, we ended up working to a pretty tight schedule and despite not having a confirmed design until Wednesday and the bar having it’s grand opening on Friday (4th Nov) we just about managed to pull it off. There are 4 more artists who have worked on spaces upstairs but we snagged the downstairs corridor which worked well for us. The photograph’s don’t really do this one justice and it’s difficult to get a feel for the whole thing without good photographs – which i’m clearly unable to get…
The corridor walls already had a lot of texture as the place hasn’t seen a lick of paint in many a year so we decided it best to go with what’s already there and make the most of it. The design consists of seven hands reaching up with lines of thread coming from each nail and all the threads converging on a big 7 sprayed on the wall.
Anyway shooting decent shots in such a tight corridor is definitely a challenge too far for my meagre photography skills and this one is definitely best viewed in the flesh. It will be up for at least the next 3 months so you should get down while you can… For more info you can check their blog
Our latest piece entitled ‘Busy being lazy’ came about as we were taking part in a battle on stencil forum Cut n Spray and the theme for the battle was ‘lazy’. Since this is a theme that is close to my heart i thought i’d try to muster the necessary effort to take part. The theme could be interpreted however you liked as long as there was a stencil on the final design.
After sitting around thinking/playing Black Ops for a while inspiration finally struck. From there it was a question of motivation and logistics. Thankfully i managed to save myself from terminal apathy and get myself to the hardware shop to buy the necessary bits and pieces. Working with plywood is quite fun although perhaps i should have got something slightly thicker than 4mm as problems started to arise when i was knocking the nails in as some of them would go straight through the wood. After a little trial and error i managed to get all the nails in and then came the thread…
Threading the nails was certainly something of a challenge (especially considering my earlier problems with anchoring the nails properly) but after the appropriate amount of swearing I finally managed to get it all attached properly. Now i just need somewhere good to get it installed and transport it there safely…
Hopefully we’ll be in with a chance of winning the competition with ‘Busy being lazy’ as surely it’s a truly inspirational piece? I’ll keep you updated as to the outcome…
We have recently completed a swap deal with the lovely and very talented Mimilove. If you haven’t checked her stuff out before check her flickr here and her most amusing blog here. We didn’t give her much to go on for hers but she did her research and came up with this lovely piece which references a few of our favourite things, namely graffiti, the Isle of Man (where we are from) and Manx cats:
Keeping a general cat theme to the whole thing we then managed to come up with this by way of response. Apparently ‘An Army of Mimi’ has been well received so i’m calling that a good swap – everybody’s happy! The picture doesn’t really do justice to the glitter we put on the heart though:
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