Category Archives: My Work

Syria – Now You Know

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This morning I installed a fake unexploded missle on South King Street, Dublin for GOAL global charity.

The unexploded missile has been constructed, using various salvaged materials. It was be placed in a ‘hole’ on the pavement, created using sand and pre-smashed paving stones. Special effects will be created by coal dust for blast scorch and smoke, along with a number of other elements. The charity wanted to highlight the ongoing suffering of innocent civilians in Syria, as the latest round of peace talks on the Syria crisis begin in Geneva tomorrow.

I was commissioned by GOAL to build the structure to mark the fact that rockets and missiles continue to land in civilian areas in Syria every day, killing innocent men, women and children in the process

GOAL CEO Barry Andrews attended the event with GOAL Syrian staff member, Alia Alsoud. Alia left Syria at the start of the war but still has family living in the country. She also lost family members in the violence, while other have been trapped in sieges.

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Collins Rising

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‘Collins Rising’  My new, limited edition screen print will be launched Thursday 10th March at Damn Fine Print – 31 signed and numbered prints only.

I’ve teamed up with Damn Fine Print  to produce an exclusive limited edition Screenprint of #CollinsRising // launch part Thursday 10th March at their studio in 32 North Brunswick Street Stoneybatter Dublin. To buy this limited edition print click here

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Origins to ‘Duty Free State’ (Collins Rising)

For God’s sake, give me one free night to be a human being!” –  exclaimed Michael Collins to his fellow rebels in the self titled,1996 film by Neil Jordan.  These words became the starting point for my original Collins stencil entitled, ‘Duty Free State’ ten years ago.

From his early twenties, Michael Collins was involved in the struggle for Irish independence. From fighting in the Easter Rising to the negotiations table at 10 Downing street 6 years later,  Collins dedicated his life to the dream of an Irish Republic.

While much has been written about his achievements, I often wondered about what this young Corkonian had to sacrifice to achieve these goals.  Ask any committed activist and they will tell you that their cause often comes a personal price. Committed volunteers like Collins never got leisure time,  bonuses, holidays or luxury goods. They dedicated their waking hours to defeating their oppressors so others could be set free.

Our little republic is not perfect, but we are not under the dominion of unelected monarchs, we have a constitution and we are free to utilize the tools of democracy,  freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly.  Liberty should never be considered a luxury, it is a fundamental human right.

If Michael had more time after the Civil war,  he might have travelled the world, he might have got married to his sweetheart, raised a family.  We might have spotted him striding down the street, shopping bags in hand after buying something nice for himself or his girlfriend.  My screen print,  ‘Duty Free State’ is an aspirational piece of work about a man who missed so much because he cared too much.

Because of men and women like Collins, I enjoy the freedom to satirize icons like Michael without fear of restriction or the threat of imprisonment and for that I’m grateful.

Michael Collins you deserve one free night off.

Lindenfels ; Pearl of the Odenwald – Matchbox Project

Currently I’m in Lindenfels, Historically referred to as ‘The Pearl of the Odenwald”, Lindenfels lies in the Odenwald in southern Hesse and is nestled in a mountain landscape with a great deal of woodland.

I’m here with Matchbox Rhein-Neckar, to do a month long art residency with the local people. Here are some of the things I’ve done so far;

Part One ; St Josefsheim

St Josefsheim was a former recreation center of the Sisters of the Divine Savior, for the past 12 years it’s been empty, gathering dust, with no water and a leaky roof. But that didn’t deter me and one my first day the mayor of the city handed me the keys and I got to work.

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Before cleaning
Living Room
After cleaning
People
Feast of St Leger
Food
Feast of St Leger

After cleaning the place I invited the people of the town to come to the opening called “The Feast of St Leger’ – I asked them to bring homecooked food and old plates that I will create art with.

The event was a great success and a choir came along to sing. After dinner I let people wander through the rooms that I had especially created art in.

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Treasure Chest
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Mural painted only with Washing powder under UV light

Part Two ; Story Teller

When people gave me old plate, I started to transfer photos I had took of the people of Lindenfels onto these plates using Acrylic Gel Medium;

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Transferring the photos
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Finished design

I’m getting some really good results, especially with the plate’s pattern coming through – in the next few days I will start to hang them in the town.

Coffee vs Gangs

KencoOver the past few weeks I’ve been working on a street art project for Kenco coffee. It’s based on Kenco’s new ad campaign Coffee vs Gangs  – Kenco buy their coffee beans from farmers in Honduras, but this beauiful South America country is murder capital of the world. With crime rates roaring due to gang violence, Kenco decided to get actively involved in trying to create another way for young people that are exposed to this on a daily basis.

Kenco are are taking 20 young people from diffeent backgrounds and bringing them into the coutryside to grow coffee, investing in them and giving them a new direction in life. I find this a brave move for a industry that has generally produced adverts that talk about the product’s ‘richness and smoothness’ but rarely focus on the poverty and roughness that the producers country experiences.

When I first saw the advert I was stuck by the contrast of imagery between the gang life and the warmth of the countryside, this became the basis for the street art pieces I painted in Dublinin early October this year. In my mural there’s a contrast between the dark soil, decay and death that refelects the gang life and what is above the ground, which is a colourful coffee plant with rich colours and sunshine.  We live in a world where buzz words like ‘Corporate Responsibilty’ are banded around without knowing what that means, but Kenco are doing something very different, they are getting involved, rolling their sleeves up and making a measureable difference. Follow the journey for these young people in Honduras by visiting www.coffeevsgang.com

 

Kaleidoscope

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A magical, multi-sensory experience for you and a partner that will redefine what Belfast means to you forever.

Staged on the streets of Belfast, Kaleidoscope will allow you to encounter the city like never before. Choose where you go and what you look at as multiple stories weave around you, plunging you into the hopes, fears and daily lives of people from across the city.

Directed by multi award-winning theatre maker Louise Lowe and artist Will St Leger.

Thursday 28 March. 7pm. Belfast City Centre.

Tickets £5. Very limited capacity.

Please note that this experience is designed to be experienced with a partner.

For info and tickets www.primecutproductions.co.uk or call 028 9024 6609.

For enquiries please contact kaleidoscope@primecutproductions.co.uk