Step 1 – Find an old pencil sketch of Muhammad Ali that your dad did back in the 70’s in your auntie’s kitchen and decide that you want to do your own version of it. Attempt to find the reference photograph that he must have used but fail. #ali #muhammadali #mohammadali #mohammedali #stencil #art #contemporary #mural #paint #painting #wall #london #overcomplicated #sketch #70s #modern #street #urban #graffiti #lockdown #stepbystep #instructions It turns out Ali has been photographed thousands of times over the years and the internet is not particularly helpful when you can’t be very specific. No problem. You’ll just have to make the detail up yourself.
Step 2 – Using the arcane skills you’ve learned over the years turn the original sketch into a wall sized stencil and then apply to your wall in black. So far so good. This is easy.
Step 3 – After much deliberation about colour and the general direction you want the picture to take you decide on a nice bright red and go with the wallpaper with the hidden morse code message and sit back to admire your handiwork. You leave it overnight and decide to come back tomorrow to see if you’ve actually finished…
Step 4 – Have a harebrained idea about taking this piece next level by having it as three murals in one and then proceed to attempt to make this idea a reality. Constantly question whether it will work or just be an immense waste of your time. Add some detail to the hair area then try to take some classy shots. This could be as good as it gets. Really go for it and include the cat if you can and any other arty shots you can manage.
Step 5 – Apply tape to half the wall and then recolour the background in a vague approximation of the colours of the Islamic flag to denote his membership of the Nation of Islam in 1964 and his name change from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. Your idea already sounds pretty highfalutin but you’ll go with it all the same.
Step 6 – Add some white to the background then, using your meagre skills at skin tone and having no reference pic to go from (other than the photo of your dad’s pencil sketch), colour the face in and try to make it look at least a little convincing. Hmmm. You’ll have to try a little harder than that.
Step 7 – Fuss around for ages trying to get the skin tone looking at least a bit more believable. That’s a bit better. Best to stop now before you go too far. Admire your handiwork and take another pic. That’s two murals down. There’s no turning back now.
Step 8 – It’s reveal time! Find the ends of the tape that you applied to the wall in Step 5 and yank that stuff straight off the wall. You’re now officially a performance artist.
Step 9 – Now you get to see if your plan actually worked. Admire your handiwork and take a few more pics. Job done. Congratulations. Then it’s time to wonder if anyone has done this kind of thing before or if you’ve finally found your thing. Think about this for approximately five minutes before your attention is diverted by the next shiny idea to pass through your brain.
We’re a bit late to the party with our announcement but we’re happy to confirm we’ve been given a wall to paint at this year’s UPfest. It’s the first time we’ve managed to snag an actual wall so must finally have enough karma points stacked up. Let’s just hope we manage to nail it…
The year is 1981. The place is the newly opened Lion’s Den club in Miami’s South Beach. Our time-travelling warrior poet Azrael Goldbeard is taking some well earned time off in the early 80’s as he fancied a bit of some sun and some disco dancing. Although lesser known than it’s New York counterpart, Studio 54, the Lion’s Den is very much along the same lines. Debauchery is the name of the game and Goldbeard is very much enjoying his time here. He’s currently thinking about nipping back to 77 and see what all the fuss was about. It’ll be a while until he’s back in grim and grimy 2019…
So how do we start a write up about lady Cheltenham? Maybe its best to explain our monumental balls up that started it all.
There we were during the week looking at the weather forecast and lo and behold it forecast rain for the Saturday. This year our design consisted of quite a bit of emulsion so we thought it best to get an early start so that it wouldn’t run in the rain. So with as much preparation as we could muster we headed down on Friday to get an early start which we did with an ease that id-iom is known for.
When we got to the Frog and Fiddle is when the problems started. The wall that looked like the one we were painting hadn’t been painted white like the rest and it seemed a little wider than what we were expecting, so we asked the bar staff who pointed at another wall which we took for consent to paint. In hindsight this was probably not the best idea.
Lets move forward to Saturday lunchtime when we finally dragged ourselves out of bed after a few too many drinks the night before we set off back to the frog and fiddle to finish our piece but i think you can already guess we had painted the wrong wall. With a few expletives thrown about for our stupidity we set about trying to get the new wall finished before either the rain stopped play or the after party started.
Anyway what we have for our troubles is Lady Chelts
Thanks to Andy and Angela for once again putting on a wonderful festival. Onwards and upwards guys!!
When we got a call from Korp to see if we’d like to freshen up a large wall in Peterborough we jumped at the chance and ‘Mr Mayhem’ is the inevitable result. If you’ve seen Sons of Anarchy (which, if you’re unaware, is a TV series about gun-running biker gangs in California) then you’ll probably know that ‘meeting Mr. Mayhem’ is a club euphemism for killing someone. If you haven’t then now you do.
Now, I’m certainly not advocating violence of any kind but it got me to thinking about Mr Mayhem as a kind of mysterious character rather than a euphemism. And here he is. Resplendent with his ‘Mayhem’ ambigram. To me he’s like a dapper English gent version of Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction. Except he puts people into sticky situations rather than helping them out. And if he had wallpaper in his fictional house it would undoubtedly look something like this.
We were invited up to the suitably swanky Hill House in Norfolk to adorn their already impeccably adorned walls with some large scale outdoor id-iom artwork. Given that Hill House is often hired out for parties and events we thought we’d try and come up with something suitable and ‘In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas’ is the result.
The Latin phrase translates as ‘In wine there is truth, in water there is health’ and it is a sentiment of which id-iom and, I’d like to think, Hill House itself approves. The table tennis table in the same outdoor space was looking a little worse for wear so we decided to give that a little makeover too in order to match the newly minted mural. The place was lovely, the weather was great and the staff (when we saw them) were equally so. It was all work though as being artists-in-residence for the week left ample time to stroll the grounds with a shandy in hand examining the very many cute bunny rabbits that also shared the garden dispensing nuggets of truth…
Sit back, relax and tell me what you see when you look at these blobs of paint. If you said ‘horse’s head’ you’re probably a psychopath who imagines grisly sights in the normal run of everyday life. Only joking. This is what happens if you use a stencil of a horses head about 30 times then whack the stencil on the wall while it’s still wet to see what you get. The end result is somewhat pleasing in my humble opinion. Join us again tomorrow for more accidental art…