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.
Show photos by Bronwyn Boyle
Cant believe we got a Chelsea hero to wear a shirt! Thanks Mikel! 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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
I will have to thank Ben and ivana who smashed out some topical words and pulled all the stuff together, cheers guys!
and of course Micheal Evis and Bez for making it all happen
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.
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.
In Marrakech this week painting for the Biennale with MB6, amazing place, really another world. Its early days and i’ve just started painting, going to be a weird Dotmasters piece and i have had to find something non figurative to fit with the local culture. More info as it happens
The Westbank Gallery have moved, and their first show in their new space is Big Bang a group show in a really quite cool space, It was the old social centre, so it has a bar in the middle of it, it’s a cool place to see art, or have a drink, or both. There’s a lot of friends in the show and last night was a good chance to catch up, not sure the tequila helped much.
I had other works planned for it, but with the death of Lemmy and Bowie recently i had to mark there passing somehow and the dollar bills seemed a good way to do it, the serial numbers are their birthdays and dates of their deaths.
The shows on for a month, nearest tube is Ladbroke grove, adress is 3-5 Thorpe Close W10 5XL, it’s under the westway.
Picture by Ian cox aka Wallkandy
The second mural as part of the Croydon Mural Project is finished! Luckily i was the first artist to be asked to paint so… when offered a wall, I thought i could put one on the wall opposite and have the two Toys facing each other, luckily they said yes. After the very girly image of the Ragdoll i thought it would be nice to produce an image that was more male, Astroboy! All of the toys i paint are actual toys from my shelf of plastic crap i have in the studio (see below), Astroboy was something i got given in Japan a few years ago when i was doing a show with Rat king in Tokyo and have painted smaller versions for shows as part of the Toy series but really wanted to see it big! A huge thanks to the Croydon Mural Project for getting me the walls and sorting out all the logistics. I had a fun couple of weeks in Croydon if not a little wet and i look forward to seeing what other artists put up around the town during the duration of the project
With the media reporting that the conditions in the migrant and refugee camp in Calais , where about 4,000+ residents, including an increasing number of women and children, are living in conditions “far below any minimum standards for refugee camps” its hard to ignore calls that ask you to help. On friday night, I had just finished the ‘Biggest Toy in Toytown’ piece mentioned in the previous post when the phone rung. The Connor Brothers were calling to ask if i would help them build some shelters for some of the more vulnerable residents in the place they call the Jungle.
It’s not often you get asked to directly to make a difference in stories you hear about in the papers, so i said yes. We set off to France on the tunnel the next monday started work, money from a Connor Brothers charity print release had been sent before we arrived and lauberge des migrants had materials waiting for us. There are a core of volunteers that make sense of the sprawling squalor, it was hard to know who to help and where to start, but with help withing the camp (mostly David) we soon started making shelters for families.Here’s our first shelter and occupant family, Coptic Christians fleeing persecution in Eritrea, they asked me to put coptic crosses on the doors, proud of the faith that was in part responsible for their displacement. Luckily i had some old religious themed stencils Adam & God and angels from Sistine Madonna.
Day two brought very different problems, after a days had work on our second set of shelters, we were just packing up and walking back from the Eritrean area when fighting broke out between the migrants and the CRS, a back and forth antagonism between the two drew tear gas from the police and stones from the migrants on the road below the motorway. Twice as we tried to get into the vans we were tear gassed, wether it was at those throwing rocks or us opening foreign registration plated vehicles, it is hard to tell. Getting a face of gas with your eyes burning and streaming doesn’t make you very charitable to their motives. However we got out in the end safe and sound and returned the next day to build more dwellings for the folk who are forced to live in these dire conditions.
We made a difference to a small path in the camp, it will take months to get the most vulnerable the women and children housed for the winter with more turning up each day it’s hard to see an end to it. We will be back, having learnt some lessons in dealing with the terrain, people and materials it would sad not to make the next trip even more effective.