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.
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
There are some new toys in Croyden! I’ve been painting there for a week and the first wall is done. The second is underway and should be finished by Friday. The two will stand opposite each other and are part of the biggest toy’s in Toy Town series first started years ago at Nuart in Stavanger.There’s loads of new street work in Croydon at the moment and there’s series of large scale street works planned by The Croydon Mural project which is produced by The Rise Gallery and Attollo art, Cheers guys!
‘Indigo gets up…Before’ & ‘…After’ .The latest in the Rude Kids series.The characters in the Rude Kids series are friends and family, all under 12 and simply too nice to ‘flip the bird’ or vandalise your walls. With teenage years looming, those days are just round the corner; for now, these kids are still too sweet and without the angst to convincingly pull it off. The series captures these kids while they’re still just ‘rude kids’.
This edition includes three colour ways of ‘Indigo’, with two versions: a ‘Before’ she tags the Mona Lisa and an ‘After’. Opinion was split as to which one we liked best, so we thought we’d leave it to you, in these low edition size series of prints.
5 colour silkscreen on 375gsm Lambeth drawing cartridge
The three colours are:
Fluro Pink Before edition1/6 Fluro Pink After edition 1/6 Orange Before edition1/11 Orange After edition 1/11 Violet Before edition1/13 Viiolet After edition 1/13
There will be a pre-sale today the 11th of August where we will sell 3 from each colourway both the before and after, a total of 18 of the prints. The rest being sold at 58 neal street in seven dials, Covent Garden London at saturday the 15th of August any not sold on the day will be offered online on the 17th of august.
Prints will be available from Imitate modern here.
I know it’s all a bit late but the reason to write it up is so i can remember where and what the hell i have been doing over the last few months…to be honest it’s been a bit of a blur.
Old friend and collaborator Martyn Reed invited me to Stavanger to do a show at his gallery Reed Projects.There is work available from the show on their online gallery here