Hidden Civil War

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Hidden Civil War is a month long programme of activity in Newcastle upon Tyne, commissioned by The NewBridge Project. Throughout October 2016 activists and artists contribute to a series of events that expose, collate and present evidence of a Hidden Civil War in Britain today.

Just back from Newcastle painting for the Hidden Civil War show . Had a cracking few days painting the ‘Union banner for the dispossessed’ both in the gallery and on the front of Cobalt studios in Ouseburn. The event happens across the city, with friends and family from the Unfairground dropping sculptures here and there, Jimmy Caulty with his riot in a container, protest jukeboxes and showings of the Battle of the bean field. The show is at Newbridge project gallery and well worth a visit. i even got a chance to do some urban exploring in the tunnels under Ouseburn and drop off a few kids.

Cobalt studios in Ouseburn was the location for my public mural in Newcastle. Surrounded by an ever increasing development of student accommodation Cobalt is fighting for it’s right to be arty.  The wall faces the office of the developers and hopefully sends the right message. Gentrification happens because of places like Cobalt and it’s a ignorant developer that ignores the reason why people are drawn in the area in the first palce.

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The gallery show is in the centre of town at the Newbridge Project gallery. A cracking space with a great team behind it. The space will host a series of works made for the hidden civil war dialogue. Pop in pick up a newspaper, watch a movie or put on a protest song on the jukebox…show opens on the 30th of September. The program and paper are available here

Of course there was some time for some late night fun!

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Rude Kids at Graffik Gallery

Just before i set off to Glastonbury Festival for the Unfaiground a few things came together in a weird culmination of events from several different strands. 10 days before i left we met on Portobello Road to discuss the promotion of a collaboration i was doing with Pills and dollar Bills. Around the table were, Attollo art, Graffik gallery, Pills and dollar bills and myself, June is a bugger for me, Glastonbury breaks me every year, I return a shell of myself and can’t face leaving the bed for daze. The festival ends on the 29th so the proposed date of the 1st was put back to the 14th… It was all still a stretch!

I got so much done before i left for the unfairground, but still it was a hell of a schedule when i got back. Add a large install into Home House members club (see next post) to the list of a solo show, a large mural to be done in a day it was going to be a tough week.2
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The show
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Show photos by Bronwyn Boyle
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Cant believe we got a Chelsea hero to wear a shirt! Thanks Mikel!
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Well we managed it all, can’t say it was easy, but with the help of Jay, ollie, Kate, Vestalia, Tamsin, Rashid, Webbo, Dani,  Bronwyn and joy it was a dam sight easier!

Rude kids with Pills n Dollar Bills

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On the 14th of July i will be Launching a cool collaboration i have been working on for some time with Pills and Dollar bills. Over the last 6 months we have been dreaming of producing some of the loudest, brashest hoodied tops and bottoms on the market. All over prints, embroidered elements, this things are gonna rock! As a taster of things to come P&DB and i are showcasing some designs in a dotmasters show at Graffik Gallery. I am painting the front of the gallery, installing one of the Glastonbury auto beggers and generally causing chaos in Portobello road. Join us for some fashion, some art and some cocktails!

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Glastonbury Unfairground 2016

I have to say, this year the Unfairground looked the best it ever has! The new Battle bus stage, with 2 1980’s london single decker buses being dragged from the field by cherubs and skeleton horses, really was one of the most dramatic stage settings in the whole of the Naughty corner. Ben Eine’s huge text warned Incurable, Imperfect, Send help! Giles walkers robot’s sold drugs on the path through using the legendary voice of Mac, while auto begger jackpot machines by myself and George Tomlinson declared the punters winners and thanked them for their 50p’s. So many new elements this year that made the unfair experience complete!

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We were already in mourning onsite with the loss of one of our true heroes Uncool Dave earlier in the year, to top it all we lost a true friend during the build, Josh Knotty a talented and integral member of the unfairground crew. R.I.P Josh, Dave. Gone but not forgotten.
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Dave’s the one you don’t recognise.

George Tomlinson and I built two auto beggers, the principle being that some pinball tat that we got of pinball geoff got us thinking of coin slot fun for the unfairground. We came up with one armed bandits that did nothing but illuminate in lights the fact you were a winner or thanked you for your coins… pointless and unfair i think you will agree.

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I will have to thank Ben and ivana who smashed out some topical words and pulled all the stuff together, cheers guys!

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and of course Micheal Evis and Bez for making it all happen

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and all of you who brought all the glamour!

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Glastonbury 2016 Unfairground

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Time is ticking down till i am in a field in Pilton at‪#‎Glastonburyfestival2016‬. A few new things for you this year, some oddness with George Tomlinson, bringing you the future of begging… and this years prizes! As we know we have lost a lot of folk this year, so this years prizes are ‘Dead Heros’ You may recognise 3, the one you don’t is our unfairground hero, Uncool Dave! So Roll up Roll up Try your luck in the Unfairest show on Earth. Only a pound a go and every one’s a Winner! (well kind of)

Astroboy print release

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I’ve had a thing for Astroboy since exhibiting in Tokyo a few years at Gypsy Eyes Cafe. The recent mural in Croydon only helped to me love him more. So here he is, the latest one of the TOY series i started painting them for Nuart festival in 2008.

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Printed at the wonderful Mesh silkscreens on 375 gsm Lambeth cartridge stock
100% cotton rag with a wapping 12 colours it comes as an edition of 50, signed numbered and embossed. The size of the print is 90cm x 35cm and is a partnership print with Attollo art.
I will be releasing this print through this site around the 10th of May, a more definite date to follow.
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Marrakech Report

2. Dotmaster picking out spraycans with MB6 Street Art curator Vestalia Chilton, Marrakesh_Photo_©_Ian_Cox_2016
Marrakech was a blast. a real change of cultures, a lesson in patience and a change of pace. It started weirdly with Louis Theroux and his family on our easy jet flight from Gatwick (the unfinished airport). He was to reappear daily while we were painting, just to weird us out. Marrakech is an assault on the senses, the bustle of the souks the smells of spice and moped fumes, the call of shop keepers “come look Ali Babba”. It’s a crazy whirl of getting lost continually, trying to find the walls.

It was a nice mix of folk curated by Atttollo,  for the Mb6 street art festival. Local boy Kalamour joined Alexey Luka from Moscow, Giacomo Bufarini aka Run from Italy via Stoke Newington (my old stomping ground), LX one from France, Remi Rough and Yesbee from Saaf London and all three in the Agents for Change crew, Mad C from Germany and old friends Lucy Mclauchlan and Sickboy from Nuart and the Widewalls Majorca easter break, with Ian cox on the camera it was like old times.
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When first asked to participate in MB6 street art festival i was very aware i was going to paint in a culture not my own. My usual subjects were not going to work in an islamic country. Islam resists to the representation of living beings both man and animals this ultimately stems from the belief that the creation of living forms is unique to God. So my western stuff like trash, toys and rude kids were out. Marrakech is often called the rose city for its colour, everything is painted a reddish brown, coupled with the fact that Morocco is a major producer of rose oil with a unique fragrance meant that i had found something local i could focus on. The cabbage rose that grows there is not a looker, (its called the cabbage rose for a reason) so i picked a prettier version to paint.

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The scaffolding was scary but the locals made me welcome, being asked to eat with the local masons and given countless cups of Moroccan whiskey (mint tea) from the berber barrow boys who carry goods in and out of the souks.

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We were housed in a couple of cool riads across the city with the sun beating down on us painting during the day it was a cool place to hang out at night. As the week went on the Marrakech Biennale started with a series of parties, where tiny snacks and large amounts of alcohol often equalled drunk artists, a bloody good laugh was had by all. A massive thanks to Ahmed our local fixer and practical guy and of course his assistant Hassan. Big thanks to both Gladys and Elena who helped the wheels stay on the cart, and of course to Vestalia and Terrence who organised the whole affair.

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