Wahacca Day of the Dead Mural

3rd November 2016

Wahacca Day Of The Dead Mural, The Vaults, Leake Street

Ah this was such a joy to create with my fellow artists Skeleton Cardboard and ArtByFane at the momentous The Vaults, Leake Street for Wahacca's intended celebration of the Day Of The Dead festival... and then Norovirus crashed the party literally on the day of the opening night.  Wahacca had to close temporarily some of their restaurants and they made the unfortunate but right decision to cancel the event as it would have been wrong to be seen to be celebrating at such a difficult time.  Such is life as they say but whilst it was alive and well in the glow of the lights of The Vault the mural looked so amazing. Many thanks to Scott and Rochelle (secret identities, don't tell anyone!) for their input on this as without them it just wouldn't have happened and huge thank you to Kieron from the Vault for giving us the green light to paint the ceiling.  Easily the most hedonistic visual experience of 2016 so far and best wishes to Wahacca.

Springs Unit Mural, Cygnet Hospital, Harrow

27th October 2016

Springs Unit Mural, Cygnet Hospital, Harrow

During the 3 months I was working with the service users at Cygnet Hospital in Harrow I had the fortune to really get to know these wonderful people and equally the hard working staff that support them. This mural was a culmination of working initially on a large scale collaborative drawing piece and it soon became apparent that the collective images were themed around personal identity and capturing their thoughts in the moment through the numerous quotes they produced. As is always the case when people need support there is an aspiration of recovery and support and growth so this mural was very much the collective vision of that sentiment. Two abstract trees growing upwards collecting the images and stories of each of the service users and then take them to a sun like entity that represents a vision of hope. The many leaves on the trees were drawn on by the service users. The service users also came down to Leake Street and joined me in painting a piece on the wall and then they were able to work on a wall at Springs Unit itself which was made from industrial wrapping wrapped between two trees in the garden.

Smilie Mural

15th October 2016

Smilie Mural, Leake Street

The Brand Licensing Europe show at London Olympia was without doubt one of the most exciting things I was able to go to this year so far  (so far!) with it's huge array of visual images and the scope that they can present in licensing potential.  Everything from SpongeBob stilettos to Hello Kitty iPad holders, the limit was how far you can bend your imagination. One of the most iconic images I saw was that of the Smiley and it inspired me enough to see if I could do my rendition of the image in my style.  Like Picasso experimented with Velazquez's Las Meninas I decided to experiment with a more contemporary image.  There is something wonderfully global with these kinds of images and it speaks so personally whatever form you see it in.  This one proved to be very popular on social media probably due to the fact there was one of Twon's (Orbit) mushrooms next door to it!

World Mental Health Day mural in Tower Hamlets

10th October 2016

World Mental Health Day mural in Tower Hamlets

The brilliant Johnny Wilkes from Flourishing Minds got in contact with me a few weeks before this event when he saw me organising the Psychodoodlz mural with the German Students in Leake Street. Flourishing Minds, the public health service he works for, were looking to celebrate World Mental Health Day by bringing three separate social groups together from the Tower Hamlets community to share stories and experiences around mental health and specifically around mental health well-being. The mural was intended to be a collaboration of these personal experiences through words and images in a simple monotype style using black acrylic on a white background. What was amazing about this experience was the wonderful way the mural and the whole event itself brought these social groupings together on an equal creative platform which served to enhance mental health well-being for all and reduce the stigma of mental. The three support groups that took part (as supported by the many facets of support that Flourishing Minds offers) were Somalian Women, Male Offenders and Young People. The murals themselves are to be taken on a tour of Tower Hamlets till next years World Mental Health Day event and will hopefully engage the community's many artists and non-artists, growing and changing just like the walls at Leake Street.

Coppafeel at The Vans, Leake Street

8th October 2016

Coppafeel at The Vans, Leake Street

 This was great fun as the annual event that is hosted by the ever wonderful Coppafeel crew at The Vans at Leake Street gave me the wonderful remit of bringing breasts to the forefront of the show which I was obviously only to pleased to oblige! Breasts have always been a constant theme in most of my artwork and it was a humbling opportunity to bring awareness not only to the guests at the event but also to the travelers passing through Leake Street about regular checks of boobs and the ongoing battle with Breast Cancer. It seems sobering that cancer events are becoming all the more common in Leake Street as we celebrate our personal victories over an illness that effects literally all of us in some way or other over our lifetime and of course remember those who are no longer with us. Art is always a transformative experience and the interaction of people with the piece as they walked by was very positive to see. Looking forward to next years event.  Onwards!

 

Chef Nic, Leake Street

3rd October 2016

Chef Nic, Leake Street

Chef Nic is a very well known reality TV show in China and he is very much our version of Keith Floyd so lots of travelling mixed with lots of cooking. what was wonderful about this experience was not only meeting the man himself and the elegant actress Maggie Cheung who has made her home here in London but also seeing the huge amount of work that is involved in setting up the whole thing in what I certainly know as being a very unpredictable environment. The result was a crazy mix of doing my own stuff, joining the crew in an impromptu mural and then obviously helping Nic and Maggie with their mural although I have to say I thought they had done a great job. It was a masterclass in posing and camera angles! The next day aka Orbit and myself used the remaining supplies to do a gratitude mural for Chef Nic and I got to do graff lettering for the first time. I have to admit a new found respect for the guys that make Graffiti look so easy. A steady hand and infinite patience is definitely needed. I am as always a work in progress.

Kinkao Restaurant & Doodlebar

21st August 2016

Today was a great day to be able to complete 2 murals in 2 great locations. The first mural was a great coup for me because I got to do my first Brick Lane mural in Pedley Street thanks to the kindness of Buboo in Kinkao Restaurant who was generous enough to let me have one of the walls the adorn the side of his building. Great way to start a little campaign of decorating the mighty walls of Shoreditch and one of many hopefully! It goes without saying that you must give Kinkao Restaurant a visit because the food that was being cooked smelt divine and I will certainly be paying them a visit soon.

www.kinkao.co.uk

 

The second mural was a great gig because of the close connections with the ethos to the place and Psychodoodlz.  The Doodlebar was originally based in Battersea however they have upgragded to a new location on Druid Street in Bermondey and judging by the other developments in the area (including the upcoming Tribe show in Tanner Street) it is a wise savvy move!  Why not add your creative energy the blossoming vibes of an up-and-coming social hotspot.   Match Made in heaven. Doodlebar is certain adventurous in its scope with more upgrades in the coming months and I am proud to be part of this by decorating the shutters.  Check their website for opening times and go doodle on the walls!  Let out that inner doodler!

www.thedoodlebar.com

Falmouth Community Mural

This was an amazing experience that incorporated so many wonderful elements that came together to create a very striking and unique mural.

Spectrum ASD is a charity based in Cornwall who provide support services for people who have ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and they approached me with the idea of not only creating a Falmouth themed mural but one that was initiated by the young brothers and sisters of siblings of autistic people who wouldn't usually have the opportunity to be in the limelight.

The workshops we held proved to be incredibly inspiring with the members of Epic Aims (the name made out of the first letters of the groups names) talking not only about inspires them but also what inspires their siblings who have ASD. In short the mural became a positive platform to express how proud they were of their brother and sisters with autism, their community identity, personal expression and positive regard, all in one mural.

Special thanks to Falmouth Fine Decorative Arts Society for helping with the funding towards this mural.

Psychodoodlz mural at Leake Street

It has been a while since we last completed a Leake Street 'old school' black and white mural and the joy about this location now is we can attach whatever mural we do to the ceiling mural we did way back in October/November 2015. As usual once we started there was no stopping us and both Rochelle and I along with newcomer Robert Walker had great fun letting the creative juices flow. Lots of audience participation also which we love with Roland doing his unicorn and passers by feigning no artistic ability and then funnily enough once they had the can in their hands they were creating images as if they had been doing it for an eon. There is an artist in all of us waiting to come out and play. All it needs is that little push, a little courage and a generous portion of artistic freedom..

2 Murals, 2 Days, Leake Street/Walthamstow "Stow Brothers"

A productive couple of days that saw me first complete a large colourful mural down at Leake Street whilst being interviewed by some 1st year degree Media students from UAL who were making a video as part of their term project. And then the next day it was off to sunny Walthamstow to create a mural at the energetic hub that was Stow Brothers Estate Agents. These guys were bursting with energy and I had great fun working alongside them as I created on the back wall of their office. A good couple of days work.

Psychodoodlz at Leake Street ‘Just A Jam’ (3rd April 2016)

Psychodoodlz was in fine form today and Spring must have been in the air as Leake Street was full of colourful creations courtesy of resident Psychodoodlz members Marc Craig, Alex Lev Sander and Rochelle De-Terville (ArtByFane).

They were joined by an eclectic mix including Erin and Freya who drew a horse and princess respectively and Russ, Shaun, Shakira and Peter who did a great job of freestyle frenzy at one end of the mural.

Our thanks goes to Scot ‘Skeleton Cupboard’ Bared Kolanerd who adorned the mural with his wonderful skeletons. It was a wonderful way to start the main season of painting murals at Leake Street in 2016. 

Tomorrow's Space

14th April 2016  Tomorrow’s Space, Davis House, Croydon

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No sooner as the Carlos Cashiero collaboration had finished I was back in Croydon creating this chalk mural for the launch of Tomorrow’s Space, a technological hub based at Davis House.

This was quite the feat considering I had not used chalk as a medium before but I was really pleased with the result and hopefully nobody will lean against the mural or touch it before the launch party!!!  Took 2 days to complete with some nice jazz in the background.

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Many thanks again to rise Gallery for connecting me to guys at Tech Leaders Club.

Carlos Cashiero collaboration at Leake Street and Croydon (9th and 13th April 2016)

It is very exciting when one of the resident artists in London’s diverse street art scene invites you to partake in a collaboration.

I met Carlos Cashiero at the Tribe '15 exhibition curated by Chrom Art and we talked about possibly getting together to do a mural collaboration. Fast forward to April 2016 and we embarked on a test run at Leake Street (who would have thought that green, gold, red, and silver would go together so well) before we met a few days later near to West Croydon Station to work on the exciting mural on the opposite side of the road.

It is always refreshing and inspiring to let go of ego and allow your work to be influenced by your fellow artist. I look forward to working with Mr Cashiero more in the future.

Special thanks to Rise Gallery for the opportunity.

 

Walthamstow & Margate (18/19 March 2016)

The weekend of the 18th and 19th of March 2016 turned out to be a very productive couple of days with myself and the lovely ArtByFane (aka Rochelle De-Terville) working on a mural piece for the Paint Your London event in Walthamstow and then Dawid ‘Kednog’ Gondek joined us for a great mural piece for the launch of 'Young, Gifted and Black Deep' in Margate, all of us working as Psychodoodlz.

'Paint Your London' was hosted by Mark Clack and his hard working crew and we had great fun battling with a constant stream of very tolerant traffic as we worked in the tunnel and enjoyed meeting the locals. It goes without saying that profound thanks goes to Mark for allowing us to have the opportunity to be part of this event. You can find details of our and other artist’s work (obviously better to check it out yourself) at…

http://www.paintyourlondon.co.uk

'Young, Gifted and Black Deep' was hosted by the wonderful Ayaan who is the driving force behind the world famous Femme Fierce which is held at Leake Street in London. This year the event will be held on 7th and 8th May 2016 so remember to book those dates for a visual feast. A big thank you to Ayaan for giving Pscyhodoodlz the opportunity to create in such a vibrant and unique setting (loved the old fairground ride characters!) and good luck for Femme Fierce. Here is a video clip of Femme Fierce from last year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l88Oqzx_f4

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William Torbitt Primary School's 'Art Week' Feb 2016

Psychodoodlz was lucky enough to be invited to partake in William Torbitt Primary School's 'Art Week' from Monday 22nd February to Friday 26th February 2016 and worked on a whole range of projects with lots of pupil participation. Three reception classes were given the task of painting their aspirations and it would seem that the girls mostly wanted to be Elsa from Disney fearture cartoon Frozen whilst the boys were equally inspired by Batman and Iron Man. There was also keen interest in hairdressing, fire fighting, police work and being a vet. They painted and drew these aspirations on three large canvases and everyone agreed they were a really big success. Year 1 pupils were given the exciting task to produce a Chinese Dragon and following the supervision of Marc Craig, the founder of Psychodoodlz, all 120 pupils had something to do with the final piece. It proved a really big hit when teachers and Marc Craig did a parade of the dragon for the pupils to the sound of tamborines and drumming. Lastly the three year 4 classes cam together with the rest of the Psychodoodlz artists to produce three 10m lengths of mural based on adventures and along with combining their creative talents the pupils learnt about famous adventurers who may inspire the pupils in the future to go on their own adventures. The murals were later converted into 3 'large' books for the whole class to read as and when they wished. A great week and wonderful staff as well as the pupils. Thanks William Torbitt for making us feel so welcome. 

My first blog

At the beginning of 2015 I would never have thought I would be lucky enough to be part of a street art collective called Psychodoodlz helping curate a memory mural at Tate Britain or painting live at the Flux exhibition at The Royal College of Art, but as 2015 came to a close and I sifted through numerous photos to help create this website I realised that it had indeed been an amazing year. Amazing mainly due to the wonderful generous community of people that make up the various creatives attracted to Leake Street. This humble tunnel made famous by Bansky's exhibition in 2008 is I feel one the most dynamically creative places to visit in London. From the fiercely talented ladies of Femme Fierce to the never ending majestic murals of numerous collectives, individuals, amateurs and even curious tourists to the constant recording of these creations by the Instagram and Flickr folk, Leake Street is indeed very unique. I think I have a soft spot for it because it is where I learnt (and gladly continue to learn!) my skills. I smile at the memories of that tentative first mural to now painting large spaces with complete abandon. And if you want a masterclass then you can sit a watch talent that redefines what can be achieved with a spray can, or a paint brush or images on paper. And it is constantly changing and evolving and changing again. I have lost count how many times people have expressed dismay that my work was covered within moments of it being completed but that is the energy I feel that gave me so much drive to create. I see it as the ironic twist in that the moment you walk away and let go of needing to be protective you move to the next piece. Thank goodness though for mobile phones and social media which records this daily changing show of glorious raw talent.

So as I start 2016 and consider new creative adventures and missions in London and beyond I will still visit Leake Street often. It's a great place to call your office! We are still in the process of completing the new mural pieces on the ceiling and I can't thank enough the staff from The Vault (thanks Kieron) and The Vans (thanks Mike) who have been infinitely patient with us constantly asking to have access to the scaffolding and barriers. I would also like to thank the great team of Chrom Art www.chrom-art.org who made so many magical moments possible for myself (such as painting with the hugely inspiring Amara Por Dios at Tribe 15) and Psychodoodlz (helping with the funding for paints to decorate the ceiling at Leake Street). Thanks also to the team at www.londoncallingblog.net who unsurprisingly has had a wonderful successful first year with his generous energy in recording and sharing London's vibrant street art and graffiti scene. Thanks to Lisa Gray for allowing me the chance to paint in the prestigious Flux Exhibition at RCA, Gaylene Gould for the 'Gold Ticket' that was the Tate Britain gig and Lee Button for his limitless energy in supporting emerging artists through The Underdog Gallery. Lastly of course my gratitude for the crew of Psychodoodlz past and present who made it seem so easy to cover 100ft sections of wall in glorious doodles and who did a great job of creating the Psychodoodlz Shuffle Dance at Tate Britain!

This website is going to be a wonderful new resource in 2016 to broaden the creative net further and experience new connections with artists and crews local and international. I am a huge advocate for collaboration because the possibilities are truly endless. Already I am working on writing a book showcasing the past and present history of Leake Street (those of you on Instagram and Flickr who regular walk through the tunnel please do get in touch!) and now it would seem there is potential for a documentary. All it takes is those seeds of ideas. And please don't think this is limited to just painting. If you are a regular in Leake Street you will know it is a haven for film, dance, fashion, acting and even occasionally fire juggling! If you have a suggestion of an idea I would love to hear it.

I look forward to seeing you in Leake Street and other street art/graffiti hot spots and I will endevour to keep you updated here with any news that comes my way. And to my fellow creatives, onwards, upwards, always.