I Got the call around mid February, How do you fancy a week in the sun end of March painting an old ice cream parlour/cafe/hotel? The only snag being that the Hotel was being demolished soon after and this was the last weekend available to paint the thing inside and out…. oh and we were going make a movie about the 48 hours we had to do it.
Mission improbable it was, but with a good local team. Chris and Heinz, Roberto the local paint guy, the spray paint shop Linea6 and the wonderful Edith, her twin daughters and son, we might just pull it off. Easter of course brings it’s own problems, it often rains. Flights and hotels become problematic and the whole island shuts down for the most sombre event in the christian year.
With everything set on the thursday before Easter the artists started to arrive, we had a little over 48 hours together with the clocks going forward on sunday night, tight was only screwed tighter. Flying in for the weekend were Loomit, Zadok, Sickboy & Kelster, Nick Walker, Lucy Mclaughlin & Matt Watson, Conor Harrington and myself with Banek and Ezequiel
Collaboration between myself, sickboy and Zadok
Saft films and ian Wallkandy tore around the site frantically documenting through a smog of paint and beer fumes. The setting was incredible and the house came alive, the oldest part of the building was at its core a hotel and the layout of the rooms, the vanished ceilings and exposed beams, lent itself well to our use of it as a ruined gallery. A maze of dark dead ends and tiny corridors that opened into crumbling courtyards.
Although the pressure was on, in such a wonderful location with amazing local food and people popping round, a lot of fun was had. We had a few near misses but we all survived. The local guys Ezequiel and Banek tore it up, zadok painted till his taxi took him to the airport. I haven’t laughed as much for a long time, and can’t wait to see the short film that comes out of it. Ended up popping something up on Hotel Zhero…they did ask…Honest. For more info on the project and to find out when the film will be released check out Widewalls or catch up with them on Facebook.
So those nice folks at Widewalls have invited a load of artists to paint up an old ice cream parlour on the beach that is due for demolition. Easter in the sun…Now thats more like it.
Well it’s been a great few days, the weather has been great, St Ottilien is an amzingly peaceful and beautiful spot and the people have been amazingly helpful, chill and entertaining. Arrived after a hectic couple of weeks in Stavanger for Nuart and a really break neck stop in London on route to Munich.to say this monastery is a change of pace is to understate it. Curated by Vis a Vis with the hleping hand of Loomit the mission for 12 artists was to paint large scale works around the Monastery outside of Munich. Yes thats what i thought, crazy. as it turns out not so crazy the works work well around the place and the artists have really taken the theme of heaven meets earth into their murals….I know what your thinking…what on earth was i going to paint….me too. So i squared it with them first that it would be ok to paint a massive pile of trash. So far so good. So half way through a massive pile of trash, its 12 feet high, (see pics below) i had just finished for the night when the producer of the festival a nice guy called Al;exander came up to me and said “where’s the rabbits?”
“That’s funny” i said “the guy who’s wall it was was asking where the rabbits were too”. (hes a butcher and the building is a slaughterhouse, makes good sausage apparently) The producer says “you said you were going to paint a pile of rabbits”I nearly shit myself laughing, No mate a pile of Rubbish!
To bring it on message with the projects title i added the boy writing “we were given paradise” as much to make a comment on them letting me paint as to make trash on their walls as the general decline of the world into detritus entropy. (just a construction shot below to give you some scale)
Thanks to all those who made this possible especially Father Cyrill, Christian, and Alexander who has more rabbit than sainsburys.
It must be that time of year again, great line up for this my 7th year producing Nuart, particularly excited to have Saber, Eine and Sickboy over…sounds like trouble already!
So first couple of days on site at Fuji Rock Festival and the site is taking shape. up in the mountains, its hot as hell, but we ain’t complaining. The hospitality is amazing, incredible sushi at squishy’s (i presume its a nick name), and hot geo thermal baths after every days work and i though i was at a festival, feels like a holiday camp! The sideshows are slowly taking shape and the collection of sideshows and attractions are going to work really well together. We even have a group of indian fakirs coming from india to eat light bulbs and generally amaze us with their feats of strength.
So been beavering away, making stuff for Fuji Rock festival and getting the show together for Tokyo on the 2nd of August. The shippers have just taken the canvases, the spray paints ordered and last minute prizes for the high strikers are being made. I wouldn’t of guessed that i would have traveled to japan for the first time with a fire bell and a large rubber mallet in my bags but that’s the life of a traveling showman for you. The above shot is the last frame in of a time lapse that Calum and Saft films helped make to promote the Show, should be posted online soon (hi res version here). Well thats almost it, got the last mad run around picking up the odds and sods for both the High Strikers and the show and then its on the plane, the next post will be from Japan, but here’s a sneak peek at some of the new work for the show in japan.
Finally all the pieces slotted into place this Thursday as the crew gathered down in Findon to load the mother of all shipping containers with the set for Fuji Rock Festival in late July. In a secret location deep in the woods the finishing touches were put of the Unfairgrounds sideshows which will accompany the Palace of Wonder outside the Festivals walls.
The weeks painting finished with the tightest load ever seen, it was touch and go whether it would all fit, but with some pushing and shoving the last bits slotted into place.