I’ve recently been out and about on the hunt for dirty walls again, potential “canvasses” for my powerhose murals. As some of you may know, I trudge through fields and farms, dragging my powerhose behind me with grand ideas in my head and the hope I can find the right wall to bring them to life. I sometimes think when I’m long gone I’ll haunt these hills, still searching for that perfect wall. People will hear a strange wailing sound and they’ll say, “Kevin’s out tonight, I can hear the squeaky wheel on his powerhose.” Then they’ll close the curtains and stay inside and think no more of it.
As always, this series of murals has been in association with Sliabh Beagh Arts. The aim of the organisation has always been to bring art out to where life happens rather than hide it away behind closed doors and they carry out this task with ingenuity, lateral thinking and a real sense of fun. I love being a part of the chaos.
Last month saw the launch of Sliabh Beagh Arts Little Mountain exhibition in the Higher Bridges Gallery Enniskillen. I’ve been involved with this group of artists for about five years and I’m pleased to say we’ve carried through on all of the most over the top ideas we’ve come up with.
Some of these include working for six months to stage a shadow puppet show in the middle of a woods for one night only, animating and performing in the same woods two years later (another six months) with our newly written follow up story…for one night only, wood carving, weird and wonderful photography, music workshops, pottery, gate weaving (yes, you read that right) and my own power-hose murals.
February already! Where does the time go? Seems no time since I was sitting with my feet up, stuffing my face with jaffa cakes but I suppose I had to get back to the real world eventually. Well, as close to the real world as I need to. To be honest, I tend to keep it at arm’s length, it’s better for all concerned that way.
I have a few interesting things on the go at the moment but I decided, before I get stuck into commissioned work I’d get some long term plans rolling of my own. I have ideas for paintings and illustrations all the time. Usually I can’t work on them straight away as I’m in the middle of a job for someone else so I draw a quick sketch of write a short description in my notebook to refer back to later. Last year, that later never arrived. I just couldn’t find the time to work on anything long enough to see results. Now, I’m not complaining because I was busy, I’d be worried if I had too much time on my hands but it would have been nice to have struck a balance. I planned to use January to get a head start on some of those ideas before getting snowed under with orders. It’s a quiet time after Christmas anyway so was my best chance to make a dent in it.
The first thing I tackled was some illustrative work that has been on the back burner for way too long. I have recently started making some of my more “cartoony” artwork available on clothes and gifts as well as my usual prints. Some of my existing pieces suit being printed on T-shirts and hoodies etc but most of it only really works in the form it was originally intended. This means I had a fairly limited range of images suitable for clothes so I wanted to create some specifically for that job. With a notebook full of ideas I didn’t have to waste time thinking, except maybe, which one to start with.