I recently submitted this one off piece called, “Inside We’re Spooning’ for an exhibit organised by No Fixed Abode in support of Marriage Equality at The Copper House Gallery.
The idea for the piece comes from our need to cuddle and spoon eachother, regardlesss of gender or orientation. The chemical structure at the top of the spoons is Oxytocin, which is a powerful hormone that is released when we hug or kiss a loved one.
Welcome to the Olympics London 2012 or should I say 1984. Where ‘thought crime’ as told by George Orwell’s modern classic ‘1984’ is alive and well. This is not fiction, real life draconian rules and pre-emptive attacks on citizens in the UK are under-way . Two days ago, Graffiti blog The London Vandal was alerted to raids carried out on 4 artists homes. In pre-emptive crackdown against artists, British Transport Police said thet are part of, “a live and ongoing criminal investigation into linked incidents of criminal damage between January 2007 and July 2012” – What the Police failed to mention is that all of the artists arrested haven’t painted illegally for 15 years. One of the artists in fact has NEVER painted illegally, despite having worked with one of the Games’s major sponsors Adidas. Read the full story here
The most effective way to engage and communicate with a particular audience, is to deliver your message at the right time and using the right medium.
I’m talking in particular about safer sex messaging with MSMs (Men who have Sex with Men) living in Ireland.
Some quick background data via (Dublin Aids Alliance) 320 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2011 (3% reduction on 2010 figures) of that, the highest proportion of new diagnoses in 2011 (42.5%) were among men who have sex with men (MSM) 8.8% of HIV infections were in 15‐-24 year olds.
There are groups doing outstanding work in outreach, education and prevention. Having worked as a designer with LGBT publications over the years I found the medium and messaging of Safer Sex adverts in magazines don’t reflect the language or modes of communicating with MSMs. They seem timid and perhaps, because they must meet ASA (Advertising Standard Authority) regulations and therefore often lack visual punch.
Going back to my opening statement, we need to directly communicate with MSMs on a one to one basis when they are about to make safe/unsafe sex decisions. We do that by inhabiting the space where they are looking for sex these days, the smart phone.
There has been a huge surge in the past 5 years in MSMs using apps such as Grindr, Scruff, Manhunt to hook up with other men, yet the presence of organisations working to reduce infections and create awareness is non-existent. My suggestion is that groups join Grindr, Scruff.. etc create their own open profile and encourage users to ask any questions or discuss sexual health issues with a trained volunteer in confidence. Admittedly this wouldn’t be a 24hr service but it could certainly work Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights when people are out and socializing (while also checking their iPhones for Grindr messages)
This is just food for thought. I have already written to the HSE with my suggestions, which I told are being looked at. Maybe because I’m impatient and want to see change happen I’m writing this so you might campaign with me.
My first Skype interview with Max
Download Report and Letter of Complaints Committee of the ASAI into Paddy Power’s Ladies Day advert
The latest edition of Irish Art Review features Irish street artists making their mark. Fittingly Conor Harrington‘s work (arguably Ireland’s No.1 street artist) adorns the front cover. The article includes work and interviews with Maser, ADW, Rask and myself. Bravo to Irish Arts Review for recognising the role of street art in Ireland today.
There’s also a nice piece about my new sell out show ‘Cause & Effect’
I delivered a ‘Small Dail’ to Kildare street this morning. It contains empty wine bottles and tribunal reports in a bin bag. I also served them with an Eviction Notice on behalf of the People of Ireland. It seems like history repeating itself, when ever the Government has shortfalls in public spending, they immediately hit the poorest in society. So how about they face the chop? Why not shrink the Dáil (Irish Parliament) to a garden shed, with no heating, no junkets, no luxuries.
It’s time we evict the lot of them, take back Leinster House and turn it into a hospital.
When I was at school in the eighties The Republic of Ireland was described in my Geography book as, “a developing country” – Fast forward twenty years and we have practically handed our sovereignty to the International Monetary Fund, banks and Eurocrats. A baffling, ‘rags to riches to rags’ story for the grandchildren no doubt.
I moved back to Ireland in 2004 after 10 years living in London. I couldn’t even being to explain how much my home country had changed in that time. Our insatiable appetite for property, luxury goods and status was reinforced in ‘Celebrity’ magazines and TV shows. Even in the bars and clubs, people spent their social time discussing house prices and shares between overpriced cocktails. The only way I could express this frustration was through my first political stencil, ‘Duty Free State’. I used the iconic image of 33 year-old Michael Collins, who risked his life and liberty to free us from oppression and reduced his legacy to a high street consumer. I’m not saying people should feel bad for buying luxury goods, however, the unsustainable speed at which we consumed meant that we paid no heed to the warnings and the whistle blowers. When it comes to possessions I use a simply mantra, “if your fear of losing a possession outweighs the enjoyment it brings, you don’t own it, it owns you”
Don’t vote for Fianna Fáil and their cronies. Challenge the opposition parties on their promises – get registered and whatever you do, VOTE
Stark contrast between the Celtic Tiger and the New Recession.