Beautiful, glorious sunshine, perfect painting conditions, next to Lock 42 of the Grand Union Canal.
TEMWA’s Art For Africa Auction, Saturday 10th June, from 4pm at The Attic Bar, Stokes Croft
Art for Africa, one of the most affordable art sales of the year, all artwork has been donated by people such as Paris, Mr Jago, Lokey, Will Barras, James Starr, Kineta Hill, Mau Mau, Inkie… all monies raised will aid Temwa’s work to build sustainable, self-reliant communities in Northern Malawi.
Many of the artist’s who donate to Temwa for the Art for Africa Auction, also take part in various other funding raising events for the charity. Temwa is a charity that is greatly supported by the artists of Bristol, and further afield.
This year Live Painting sponsored by CASS ART will start at 4 pm, there will be a Kids Painting Workshop run by The Paintsmiths 4-6 pm, Street Food, Screen Printing by Epok AND The awesome DJ Die will be heading up the Legendary Art For Africa Afterparty.
Dont forget you can bid online, via phone (contact firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person on the night or you can place reserve bids (again contact email@example.com or ring 0117 403 1426).
Lokey and I, have both donated again this year… so if you fancy bidding on one of our piece’s you know what your looking…
and a couple of cyanotypes by me…
Travelling up to Leicester on a Friday, wasn’t as straightforward as it should have been, we had to go via Cheltenham so that I could hand in my last workbook, for the degree show, also the trains were delayed and we missed our connection in Brum, the weather ahh yes glorious sunshine and hot…(Lokey gets grumpy on overcrowded cattle wagons, when it’s a beautiful hot, sunny day – ideal painting conditions).
So we got to Leicester an hour or so later than we had wanted, checked into the hotel, then headed to Culture Quarter, to check out what had been painted in the lead-up to the main event. What images I did take were on film (I haven’t sent them away for developing yet), after having a walk around, and catching up with a few people who still painting in the failing light, we ended up in The Exchange (lovely bar and they serve tea and cake too), now the choice’s of Cider for a Bristolian were limited, they had some bottled stuff that was apple or strawberry, or the only cider on tap… ‘Cloudy with a chance of shit-faced – a proper clear, flat cider that only West Country folk would have the balls to drink, now remember we were all bottle fed and weaned on ‘Traditional Thatcher’s’.
As writer’s do, there was the usual ‘pass’ the black book (It’s a writer thing, if you’re all together with peeps from out of town, you generally sign, tag or draw in each other’s black books, it’s a way of commemorating the event). It was good to catch up with old friends and new, I met and spoke to some interesting people, from all walks of life,
some people were meeting their idols for the first time, others were old friends and crew members, who may as well be family as they’ve known each other since childhood, it was like any other night down the pub, convo’s from work, art through to family life… normal people shit, it’s wasn’t like one of these lads nights out, where get’s sloshed in the first hour, cause havoc in the town, the odd fight, and someone being nicked, it was like being in one of, those, 18th century Gentlemen’s Club’s (where no females were allowed) very civilised and somewhat posh, though we were all outside, due to it being rather humid!
This night ended a little later than planned, and the hotel, the humidity, when we walked through the fire door, towards our room, was like stepping off of a plane in Adelaide in a 100+ temp… Humidity and dehydration mean one thing, a mother f8cker of a hangover for some people! (I don’t drink by the way!)
Those that were drinking ‘Cloudy with a chance of shit-faced’, didn’t touch it on Saturday night…
The first ‘Return of the Macks’ paint jam, happened on the May Bank Holiday in 1996 in Leicester, this would have happened in it weren’t for Andy Hitchcock and Solo one….(words below taken from a news article and stolen from the Return of the Macks 2017, FB Page)
One of the main driving forces behind the first Return of the Macks was Andy Hitchcock. Andy was the youth project worker at Central Hill Youth Project who managed to secure the hoardings on Western Boulevard from Sue Sanford at Leicester City Challenge.
It was during a series of workshops with Boyd Hill that the suggestion was made to create the U.Ks longest Graffiti wall and that plan was put in place with the date as The May Bank holiday 1996.
The Central Youth Project worked with young people from the estate and as a result of the workshops locals Karl Jones and John Woods were both presented with Certificates for their work on this project.
I wouldn’t like to say how many writers and crews took part in the original event, but from what I understand and tales that I have heard, writers travelled from far and wide, train, bused, hitchhiked or blagged a lift, to spend the weekend painting, meeting old and making new friends, using old fashion car paint, generally having a good a time and having the mother of all hangovers the next day… (and 21 years later, the writer’s repeat the process, although I don’t think anyone hitchhiked to the 2017 event, and I didn’t see anyone using ‘car plan’ but I did see plenty of hungover writers’s on Saturday, so something’s never change…more of the 2017 event to come)
I think the only way that you could understand the significance of the Return on the Macks 1996 event, is to watch this video, it’s 13mins long, (so make a cuppa first, and enjoy) there are a few key moments in the video that make smile or laugh, firstly it’s seeing how young my Lokey is, and that living with a messy a photographer and our 3 year old daughter, has either aged him or driven him round the bend…(more than likely my nagging), the spontaneous break dancing and hearing Solo One talk so passionately about Graffiti, and the response’s from people checking the hoardings…
I nearly forgot to mention, its old VSH Footage, pre-internet, pre-digital camera’s, so everything was film footage, and yes I still use film to shoot Graffiti 🙂
So 21 years later, its time for a reunion, so to say. Return of the Macks 2017 happened, alongside Bring the Paint and it’s all thanks to the lovely people at Graff HQ in Leicester. (more to follow in another post)
Also, you should check out Solo One’s Blog, he’s a wonder human being, and the world needs more people like him!
And if you’re wondering why the event was called Return of the Macks… Mark Morrison is to blame (and he’s from Leicester), his tune ‘Return of Mack‘, was no.1 in the charts at the time, when Solo One was deciding on a name for the event….
Shooting with my fav Black and White film, Graff and writings at the Deaner. So first you need a brief bit of history.
Dame Emily Park aka Dean Lane Skatepark was a place no sane person would enter unless you were skateboarding, sniffing glue or writing your name on one of the walls, back in the 1980’s. The Deaner is/was a ‘Hall of Fame‘, where many of the Bristol & Kingswood Graffiti Crew’s would produce productions, taking out whole walls, the rules were simple if you couldn’t better or burn a piece, don’t bother painting over it…
..by any means necessary (Stole the photo from Lokey, see more on his Flickr) painted by Pert, Kato, Shok1, Kilo, Skore, Daz, Infoe (R.I.P.), Verse, Tes
Its also the place where Banksy first met the Dry Bred’z Crew or DBZ (and Yes its BRED’Z not Breadz as some may suggest) The members were (I know I’m going to a miss a few people out, so will amend once I speak to Lokey) Vers, Tez, Lokey, Justa, Kato, Pert, Nach, Soker, Sorse, Shimz, Bush and Banksy
Now the deaner doesn’t get any huge productions anymore since the factory walls came down, and the Skate area of the park has been updated and modernised, so the wall space has changed a fair amount over the years. My reasons for choosing Black and White film are simple, sometimes Graffiti, when it’s photographed in monochrome, can give a different feeling and change how the piece appears. I hope these images give you a sense of 1980’s Dean Lane…