Easily the longest mural I have ever completed and one of the most challenging thanks to the very cold weather but also hugely enjoyable thanks to how it involved Rotherhithe Primary School, AI art platform Dalle and a lot of Posca Pens! Each pupil and member of staff from the school were invited to pick either an alien or a robot and then for that alien or robot to be either happy, sad, grumpy or excited. Dalle then generated a series of images based on those choices and the pupil/teacher then chose which to be put into the mural. It turned out to be a very dynamic mural with a huge cast of robots and aliens in various states of emotions and the university students who were staying at the Scape building gave their seal of approval.
This was such a joy to do. The residents in The Crange Building near to the Tate Modern were invited to take part in creating a new series of artworks each taking a month to complete for a year period. Apart from the pandemic slightly delaying the proceedings the twelve 8ft by 8ft artworks were completed in 2022, the last 4 you can see now hanging in the main reception of The Crange Building on Lavington Street.
What was really special apart from making the artworks of course was connecting with the people within the building and this osmosis of artistic endeavour meant that the different companies within the building were able to connect in a way that was not possible before. Lots of positive quotes, positive lyrics, positive images and even a recipient for mango milkshake in Punjabi. All the artworks were created using chalk pens
Chef Nick is a very popular television program in China and the man himself Nick goes around the world tasting the culinary delights in all the cities he visits. I was approached by the production company to help facilitate the film crew as they wanted to film a sequence with Nick creating a graffiti mural on the wall with the well known actress Maggie Cheung. This was particulary special for me as I was a fan of the film Hero so I admit I was slightly starstruck. You can also see in the distance at the far south of the tunnel I had created a mural which I had hoped they would include in the filming but alas it was not meant to be but what a fascinating day considering such a short film segment had so many people involved in making it.
When you get a random group of people together, in this case students in the art courses at Barking And Dagenham College, and ask them to work together and create a spontaneous piece of artwork the initial response is understandably a few confused blank faces. Most people it seems do not have the awareness of the magic that can unfold in collaboration and feel their artwork experience is a solitary one. That may be true for some artists but I have come to believe that for me to upgrade my own work it is working with others that fast tracks that inspirational vibe. The students who took part in these big panel pieces soon got into the swing of things and produced five immensely powerful panels of abstraction that were brought together to make one dynamic mural.
This was initially something that seemed to be an impossibility. A mural combining positive affirmation about diversity, incorporating autism awareness, connecting to a nearby exhibition on tattoos and also connecting to the theme of my home town Falmouth in Cornwall (bunting, boats and the classic seagulls!) But somehow with the aid of collaborating with siblings of autistic people, the populace of Falmouth and the staff from the nearby Maritime Museum we were able to create this beauty which is the longest mural I have done to date. Was my first experience in being on the BBC also. Great times and still there I think albeit now slightly faded. Time for a touch up new mural maybe? :)
Ever wonder what it would be like to accessorise and custom a item of clothing with your artwork? It was something on my radar when Blair ZAYE kindly asked me if I would like to support the orgainsation Artists Against Knives which were seeking artists to decorate a series of jackets which were then to be sold off. So I got my rather classic retro jacket and some chrome marker pens and got to work.
It took a while but it was worth the effort! And it sold in the auction which I thought would be the end of the story but spookily a few years later I got a message on Facebook from the guy who sold it who said it was his favourite item of clothing and sent me a picture of him wearing it shaking hands with the ex prime minister of Australia. Random for sure and made me smile.