There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, when the Iron Lady ruled the roost but didn’t know what to do. This piece combines political undertones with feel good childhood memories of the 1980s where a High Top meets a High Rise on a gritty and overcrowded housing estate where resilience shines through. A wonderful and surreal homage to a cracking decade or a quirky interpretation of an era that gave birth to the housing crisis due to a woman who got it wrong? Well if the shoe fits…
Edition Size: 45 + 5AP
Specification: Limited edition fine art print, hand signed by artist.
Ok, so for each of the previous ‘Retrospective’ collections there has been a music inspired piece as it has played a massive part in reinvigorating my memories of growing up through to present day. In 2019 I created ‘Mad For It’, a 90’s ‘Brit-pop’ celebration that focused upon the Manchester music scene. A slightly different type of music and weather to what you now see here in EIVISSA, but the two pieces are related, to me anyway! Basically, in my late teens I was really into house music, I absolutely loved it. So much so that I wasn’t bothered with the ‘Indie’ scene that most of my mates were. This resulted in me not going to watch the little gig that was ‘OASIS live at Knebworth, that was practically on my bloody doorstep. Damn it!
Typically, I soon started to move towards Indie, Brit-pop and an increasingly heavier taste and I seriously regret not going, I couldn’t even get any shared memories from my mates as they can’t remember anything from it! A side effect that the majority of those who were lucky enough to get over the ‘white isle’ in the hedonistic era of the 1980’s through to early 2000’s. Like I said, I loved and still love the House music from that period, but I never got to go over to Ibiza and ‘large it up’. I’ve never waved a glow stick or got off my nut on mind-blowing drugs. The closest I got was the nightclub in San Jaime – Menorca and waving one of the wooden statues about before getting bollocked and told to leave. Not hardcore but good fun.
As with a good number of my pieces, I like to take on subjects that typically get overlooked in the art sense yet have a massive following. I love creating scenes that put you right back there, that pulls at your heart strings and amplifies all the emotions that you felt at the time. With EIVISSA I have created a digital still life composition that is much ‘freer’ than the majority of my works, so it truly creates this sense of calm as you either watch the sun go down or come up from the beach. It is a beautiful image, pure tranquillity, with the sun shimmering over a sea that looks like a blanket of diamonds and the stunning Bougainvillea gently framing the vista. If you look closely, you will spot that the sun is actually made from a vinyl LP, whilst graphic equalizer patterns mimic hints of distant hills over the horizon as you look towards the other Balearic Islands.
There is a narrative and another purpose to EIVISSA, it depicts the changes that have happened out there from the early period when the clubs existed but were dotted about amongst little villages and dust tracks. A time when it was all about the music and the experience before the VIP culture took a hold that made everything so much harder and more expensive. Now, sadly it seems to be that the tables are reserved for those with the deepest pockets or biggest following. So, despite this being a positive piece, there is a nod to that. It isn’t something that I will pretend to be incensed by, but I felt it right to acknowledge, more so when the true spirits of Ibiza pass, such as Jose Padilla. ‘Heaven is a place of wonder’.
This sense of shifting sands is reinforced by the objects within the main composition. Dominated by a DJ mixing deck and with cracking objects that surround it, there is this feeling of things being uncovered and recovered that were previously hidden, just like how I hope this piece brings those memories back that were blurred and hazy. It is what ‘Retrospective’ stands and aims for, to look backwards to look forward. Look closely and you’ll spot an object that brings the time of this piece bang up to date rather than it being what many would initially think is set back in past decades. However, once you’ve spotted it, do you see it as current or set in the future when the restrictions are now a thing of the past and with that comes hope that the true spirit of EIVISSA has returned, floated in with the grace of a rainbow unicorn!
I have loved creating this piece, I really have. I hope that it has offered something that many didn’t think existed and that I have done justice to the memories that you lunatics can remember. Look closely at the mixing decks, it is totally transformed with cracking references with the odd one that needs a real clear head to decipher. I love the contrast between the wonderfully calm qualities but the drama and movement of the light trails that not only depict the intensity of the clubs but reinforce the sense that things are coming back to life. At the time of writing, it is Autumn and grey skies, but I hope that I have brought a brighter horizon to you and the time when you’ll be finally back on the sand is getting ever closer. I think we will all drink to that! Just beware of the dangers of Moist, Milky Donuts, Always!
So, it just remains for me to say, ‘av it large! (or standard if the size fits better)
I’m sure I’m not alone with this one, but I bloody loved the A-Team as a kid! Classic Saturday TV memories with the family and I loved and lived every minute of every episode. I have previously created two A-team pieces; ‘Soldiers of Fortune’ was created back in 2016 and sold as an original piece whilst ‘A-Division’ was a commission. The van has featured within pieces such as ‘Petrolheads’ but I have been itching to create an image that can be available as a general release so here it is SUKKAS!
The two pieces previously captured the team’s love for creating intricate and bizarre weapons and vehicles from cabbages and egg boxes, whilst also referencing their previous roles in the US military and I love both pieces. For this image I wanted to do something different, so I planned to move the timeline forward to a period after the characters have moved on.
My favourite character was B.A Baracus, what a nutter! Apart from Pat Butcher, he was the only one capable of carrying off those whopping great big earrings! He was a unit, wasn’t he?! Probably from all that milk he drank, I guess if his hate for milk was like his fear of planes then all he would have been good enough was to play for the 'Owd Reds. Accrington Stanley, who are they? Exactly!
So, I tried to get inside Mr T’s head to see what he would probably do with all his free time and apart from becoming a boxer, (that wouldn’t work would it surely?) I thought he could continue with his love for all things gold and glittery and set up a gold mine out in the middle of nowhere where surely no one could find him, or could they?
A rickety, towering gold mine expands up from the desert that looks to be as sturdy as one of the old A-Team TV sets. Yet just look at the operation that is going on here under the name ‘FOOLS GOLD’ (you see what I did there?). Rail carts stand on their tracks full of gold, it looks like business has come to a grinding halt, is there a mole within the tumbleweed or just a jackal?
Although so much has been left for your interpretation, one thing is clear and that is B.A’s empire is under attack from above as wave after wave of attacks rain down from the sky. But hold on, the classic Corvette is being carried away by the military Chinook, is everyone on the same side here? Is he out on his own, did he cut his ties back then or has his comrades answered his call for one last battle? Blacked out windows leave everything open to your imagination.
A key component of the classic series was the constant over the top drama that played out, how many vehicles were flipped over and blown up by them lobbing sticks of dynamite at any opportunity? Yet did anyone ever not make it out of their flattened or burning jeep? I have paid homage to this by creating a cracking sense of drama and movement to contrast with the static objects laid out in front of you to decipher.
Bigger isn’t always better and that is shown with the role that the iconic A-Team van plays within the scene and its composition. It is such a bloody brilliant vehicle that looks great up close but I have done this within ‘Petrolheads’ and didn’t want to replicate this so, instead it is doing ‘doughnuts’ in the desert, but driven by who?
There have been a few calls to include a ‘big rig’ within a piece and I love what is happening here. I remember the time when they converted a rig to become a battering ram, it just looked immense. So, in true A-Team style I have got the virtual angle grinder and blow torch out and created my own. Look closely and you will spot whose truck this is! I love the end results, it has a ‘Mad Max’ quality to it, now there’s food for thought.
I avoided watching the big screen movie remake as I prefer to keep my memories unspoilt but always enjoy watching old episodes. With the exception of when Leeds used to come out onto the pitch to ‘Eye of the tiger’, I can’t think of many better intros than the theme tune to the A-Team. I only take on a subject if it resonates with me and if I feel that I can bring something different to the subject and most importantly do it justice and I can whole-heartedly say that I have thrown everything at it. It has brought so many special memories back to the surface.
My interpretation of Marilyn Monroe has been created using the same style as my 2016 ‘Unrequited’ and ‘Little Wing’ pieces. It therefore allows for a really beautiful interpretation of such a recognised icon and her classic pose. You see so many interpretations of Marilyn that paint her as something that she wasn’t so I wanted to go down a different route and embrace her beauty. This is why I chose to name the piece as ‘Norma Jeane’, her birth name so essentially stripping everything back, back to beauty.
Her body is created using single hearts to acknowledge how much she loved and was loved whilst her dress has been created with angel wing feathers which not only looks beautiful but is a subtle nod to her passing and being free from the darkness that existed in Hollywood. This darkness that followed her is depicted in small smoke detailing that clings to the bottom of her dress. The piece has abstract markings on as a subtle reference to the Subway grate updraft that caused her dress to lift up and create such an iconic image.
Collection: Through Darkness & Light
Specification: 1 of 1 original framed embellished canvas, hand signed by artist.