One thing is for certain, when you spend eights hours of the day suspended at over 100ft in the air in a cosy 60cm wide cradle, you get to know each other very well indeed...
After three days on the wall the base coat is down and the first sections of colour have been applied.
Painting alone can be a pleasant and reflective experience but painting with a team makes fantastic memories and is great fun. For this colossal mural I am joined in the cradle by two lovely guys; Pete and Kamil. After three days spent working together we have developed a natural rhythm and order to things; One of us measures and sketches, whilst the other masks out the sections. One of us spray paints and applies a sharp outline whilst the other fills a new section or applies a section coat of paint. Pete and Kamil are two skilled painters who, as part of their day jobs, regularly install painted adverts for large organisations. I met Pete for the first time a few months ago and Kamil I just met this week. One thing is for certain, when you spend eights hours of the day suspended at over 100ft in the air in a cosy 60cm wide cradle, you get to know each other very well indeed. We spend the days, in fun banter and switching between tasks; Sharing stories, discussing tricks of the trade, and bopping away to tunes on my Sound Square. Today was the turn of Kamil to have charge of the wireless speaker as a result we were treated to mixture of European Rap and contemporary Pop. The previous day Pete had decided to share is passion for Radio 6 with us and tomorrow I may treat them both to some uplifting gospel tunes, or possibly a bit of ‘Classic FM at the Movies’ or maybe, if I am feeling mischievous, a bit of the sound track from ‘Wicked’ the musical.
Right now as I type this the room feels at though it is gently swinging to-and-fro. This, I now realise, is an unexpected side effect of working at height from a cradle. If you have ever been on a ship or ferry, or even walked very fast on a treadmill. Well it is the feeling you sometimes get when you get off the treadmill and still feel as though the ground is moving. That is exactly what I am feeling right now. A gentle rocking and I sit here typing. It really is quite bizarre; A very strange sensation.
The mural is now beginning to take shape and as the first few sections are slowly being revealed I think this is a good time to tell you a bit about what to expect from my design as it emerges.
Generally, my artwork is know for being bright, positive and steeped in concept. I like everything to mean something. I like for everything to be included for a purpose and as a means of communication. I also like to create work that at first glance has a significant visual impact and makes people smile, and then on closer inspection and with further questioning tells you a story or conveys a deeper message. The mural on Trafford House is no exception. As it emerges you will see a tapestry of bold shapes and colours. Each colour has been selected to vibrate and visually grab your attention, to make a positive impact, and to work in unison with the iconic Suffragette colour palette of Purple and Green and White.
The mural is made up of eleven sections; each of which makes reference to Sylvia Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement or the local community and history of the area, there also a section dedicated to Gorgeous Gorse Hill and the work they do to maintain and beautify the local green spaces.
Tomorrow is set to be another dry and sunny day and the aim is to finish the sections at the top of the mural, starting with one of my favourite sections, The Power Flower. See if you can spot this section as you go past Trafford House and let me know what you think I am trying to communicate with this section of the design.
Thanks again for all of the honks, toots and waves. I will continue to try and wave back but if I can’t or you don't see me, just know that I did hear you and that I am appreciating all of the positive vibes and amazing support.
P.S The floor is still swinging!
See you soon,