Had a banging weekend up on the Wirral a few weekends ago. A great project to rejuvenate part of New Brighton by the passionate team at Rockpoint leisure. I was invited by an old studio assistant (Rob) to take part in a series of murals aiming to breathe new life into a forgotten part of the Wirral, which was once a famous go-to entertainment destination for Merseyside, a Disney cross the Mersey.
It’s hard not to mention Dan Davies when talking about the changes that are happening within this community. He’s a driving force behind the look and feel of the area and has an easy-to-like social agenda that you can identify with whether you are a visitor to the area or a local. Over time i’m sure this faded Vegas will rise in ways that weren’t planned or foreseen. That’s what great about it! There’s a general buzz in the area, an enthusiasm that means that more than the sum of its parts are possible. Go Dan! Really can’t wait to be asked back.
It was nice to be asked back to Nuart after a few years away from Stavanger. As i used to work on production for the festival, the visit was radically different to my previous years experiences. Coupled with the fact i was painting my new Gaffa-tape “Stick em” up series, it gave me a fresh pair of eyes to see the town and festival. No cherry pickers, no assistants and no confirmed walls meant i was free to wander the town and paint these little pieces on doors and electrical cabinets at my own pace.
In my opinion, the placement of art on the street is often key to the work’s success, both visually and, often, in terms of its longevity. It’s a dynamic that is hard to re-create during a festival, as artists from all over the world descend on a town or city with pre-ordered paint, ideas and walls. With artists wanting to go large, festivals wanting a mark worthy of the booking and a city wanting eye-candy to brighten its darkest corners, that placement is often overlooked. As a producer, i am only too well aware of the conflict between all the interests, the art form and its roots. So it was great when Martyn Reed offered a retro way of working for my trip to Nuart 2019.
A map showing the spots painted over the 4 days in town.
Nuart is a festival close to my heart, it’s always great fun and the shows in the beer halls at Tou have been some of my proudest production moments. It’s always a great crew thats easy to work with and a real party feeling for the week or two that you’re there. Loved a lot of the work around me and it was a pleasure to be asked back to take part
Above Oscar and Gabriel, local rude kids who have grown up with Nuart and who i’ve know through the festival since birth. This year they made it into the show.
Noticed the other day that there hasn’t been a post up here since new years! Well i’ve been busy painting around the place. Below are some high lights from the first 3 months of 2018, Liverpool, London and Laos…All the L’s
Nice to be painting in Portobello again, on the left you can see graffik Gallery’s indigo get up.
It’s not often i get given a wall to trash. I love painting these groups of bags, but the content is often a hard sell. Very few wall owners want a permanent reminder of the weeks refuse painted on their wall, so a massive thank you to the Kacper Deli and the very patient Penge Barbers for letting me drop a special Penge pile Halfway up their High St. Walls and support as ever from @ldncallingblog
When snow blasted London in early March, a group of about 160 homeless people moved into the disused 17.5 million pound ($24 million) eight-storey building in Great Portland Street, making it the biggest single shelter in the capital.
The occupation – due to end on Monday with a court ordering their eviction – has sparked a citywide debate involving London Mayor Sadiq Khan about the treatment of growing numbers of homeless people.
Sleeping on the streets – or rough sleeping – has risen in England for seven consecutive years, according to government figures, with more than 1,000 homeless in London and more than 4,100 nationally, a 134 percent jump since 2010..
The building developers started to board the windows on the bottom floor after complaints from tenants, effectively blacking out the communal kitchen, with evection looming i was asked to draw some attention to their plight.
Crazy weekend…yep i did say weekend to Laos! Birthday madness in Luang Prabang with Nam Khan Projects.
January visits up north with one man arts. Lots of fun dropping the kids around liverpool
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!
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.