Ahhh, Glastonbury, It’;s a double edged sword. An obstacle course through a chaotic fairground. Due to the Cannes lions gig appearing in the middle of my usual build, work started early in June, dragging the sideshows out, fixing trailers, building 28 foot mouths the usual thing for a uncrew carnie . Each year we ask a new artist to paint the hoardings in the unfairground. I’ve know Inkie for many years and thought his style would give a post victorian edge to our twisted fairground setting.
This year i brought a new sideshow, Small fortunes, Dystopian futures that favour the unfair! Cross there palms in silver and delve into the future from our resident fortune tellers the Queens of the Underworld and Ted’s Walker. We had queues of the curious leaving satified if not perplexed.
We had a cracking year, with the misery of the previous years festival forgotten. No one can remember a hotter build, a fuller or friendlier festival. We had a Cracker!
Usual thanks to all the Uncrew! The folly family, our incredible production staff, everyone on the bars back stage and back! Jagz kooner, Bez, Scouse and fatty for the battle bus stage. OIf course for Sam Haggerty making it all happen in the first place and all those who came, watched the freak shows, danced and drank the night away or those that lost their shirts on the sideshows.
It was a cracking year, always a little Unfair but a bloody good laugh
After a crazy week in Tokyo it was a quick dash on the Shinkansen (bullet train) down to meet old friends kenichi yamamura (ken) and Ben Eine and Massagon. It was a blur of paint drink and laughter in equal measure. Christ we got drunk! First off painted Malu the craziest hairdresser in Osaka, he has a full recording studio and VJ set up inside, working as he cuts hair…Thanks for the haircut! Then a quick stop at Banquet and great bar round the corner and a couple of small works dotted around while i sampled the joys of Japanese whisky.
Ben, Ken and Massagon are dangerous guys to go out for an evening with, if it wasn’t for then i may have never found my way home. Waking up in the morning finding photos of things i didn’t remember…like painting people’s clothes in the street? The next day saw an early hungover start and some more rude kids on shutters at Kenmuri Then a quick visit to the mayor..?..!..?
Of course the evening turned out stranger than i can remember and on the last day in Osaka another wall and another bar…
I love Osaka, mostly because of the people . Thank you so much Ken and massagon your amazing hosts, thanks for keeping us all safe and sound finding some great walls and great bars and restaurants. Great to spend some time with Ben and MC, see you both in London! It was a great 3 daze!
Just back from Japan, i had a great time! First off a week in Tokyo with Gypsy eyes showing me around town, helping me find walls and the gallery Kawamatsu for a show on the 8th of October. I first visited Kawamatsu 4 years ago when i first had a show in Tokyo. The owner is a keen street art fan and had one of the only walls that you could paint legally in town. 4 years later i was exhibiting inside. Thanks to everyone who came, bought something and drank a little too much Asahi beer, it was a great night!
photograph Yuki Loroi
Finding walls to paint in Tokyo is tricky, Its a dense city with complicated wall ownership and a young appreciation of art on the street. However Gypsy eyes pulled it out of the bag with this stunning newly renovated cafe/bar soon to open calledKitsune (fox). A weird shape and full of windows with only the stencils i came with to work i think it worked. God knows it took us a couple of very long days to finish! Thanks to Taro who was an incredible help thorough out the week and to Murao who drove like a crazy man to get me around! Thanks all you made a fantastic visit!
address of the cafe
quick skateboard during the night.
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.
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!
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!
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.