Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Lordship Flower


I have wanted to start this blog for some time now! Since my first solo exhibition; The 30th Act which was held in April 2009 at St Augustine's Tower in Hackney, London. Then I had wanted to blog about all my amazing experiences in Cameroon, whilst I was there last year and earlier this year. My exhibition at Centre Culturel Francais in Douala entitled; La rue, and updated readers of the radio and TV interviews I had, and newspaper articles... etc

Then my more recent exhibition this year in April at the Tabernacle in Notting hill, London which was entitled 'Happy Concoction' which saw Rudolph Walker and Richard Blackwood making an appearance at the exhibition and Richard Blackwood leaving with a signed limited print of ‘Her Stance’.

Also could have started the blog when The Grammy Award Multi talented Singer; Faith Evans added one of my prints 'Maasai tone' to her art collection just this September in Washington DC.

There have been numerous occasions I keep wishing I could start my blog and really how I wish I had been blogging in the last two years. A lot has happened. And honestly I don’t think I will really ever have the time to revisit my memories to write down those experiences to you all, I mean, between working and travelling between London, Cameroon, Washington DC, there are a breath of stories and inspirations I would have loved to share then, but it really is never too late to start so I aim to do so from now on and hope I continue to have a lot to share!

So, this is to share with you all the latest on SHIRIACHUART.

I received an email from an ex-colleague who was trying to find out whether I would be interested in painting on a wall in his house. Me? Interested in painting on a bare wall? Yeeeeaaah!! Bring it on!! I love doing new things, particularly new, interesting and challenging things. So, of course - yeah I am interested!

In all eagerness on both our parts, we meet on site just a few days later. Let me tell you that this house is thee quirkiest house in North London - really! Honestly! The owner is an architect, and is from Belgium and has a great sense of style and taste. So, I see the wall I will be faced with, we talk keenly about the brief - A flower. Then we discuss site logistics and how I would be able to physically do the work as the wall space is above the stair at the entrance of the house. It was confirmed that he would have to build a platform over the void and I would use additional stools/chairs if required to get to the corners of the 2.3mX2.3m wall area.

Six days later, nervous and excited, I get to the house early on Saturday morning to start the painting. So why am I nervous? Well, I am an artist, and that's what artists do right? Paint?! Yes, and I have done many paintings before right?! Right! – But, they have all been on canvas, or board or canvas board. This was the first time I was to do a painting on the wall. To be there permanently!!! – Oh, and I have two days to get it done! There are a thousand what ifs?! Yup! I was allowed to be nervous. Nerves aside, and this was a primary concern, I was just praying that this permanent fixture of a flower, now coined ‘The Lordship flower’ (because of its location in North London) in this quirky home will be loved by all those who live in the house and also by those who visit. It will be the first thing one would see when they arrive in the flat; (after climbing up the stairs immediately from the entrance door). The Lordship Flower will be seen from the landing or from the dining/kitchen area.

Pre 'The Lordship flower', the wall as seen from the landing (below).

I get straight to work! Honestly, two days to get it all done is serious! First, some loud music Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Louis Armstrong remixes... then some great tea made by the lovely lady of the house and I was left to it.

On the platform I still needed an additional stool to get to the areas I needed to get to, to sketch out the flower. Oops! The sketched flower is a little high - occupants in the house would see the flower from various angles and particularly the kitchen/dining/ living space. So I investigated from there and indeed it is, so, I erased and started again! It really ought to be right!

OK, I am happy with the level... let’s get the paints out! Wall paints. Another first for me... so exciting! I prepare my palettes of reds, yellows, some blue, black and white and get mixing and I am ready to paint. The greens will come tomorrow. My client is keen for me to amply apply the paint, so I do, which also adds texture to the flower.

Some small progress made, the image below left shoes the view from the kitchen and dining area I spoke about earlier. I am conscious of the fact that the wall is constantly washed by natural light from the two windows - so I make my colours extra bold, so that under the light, the flower would still stand proud and not be washed out by the bright southern light.

The following shows the blossoming of the flower until its completion... I worked throughout both Saturday and Sunday, stopping only to eat or change the CD on the CD player when the live classical violinist took breaks from his rehearsals.

The Lordship flower is approximately 2mX2m wide and stretches across one entire wall above the staircase.

For scale purposes, the bud is as big as a human head if not slightly bigger. Also, stretch out your arms as if going in for the biggest welcome hug. The Lordship flower is bigger than that hug!
The lordship flower is a huge statement. First, it speaks a huge welcome. Then it adds warmth, boldness and colour and brings all three into the home. The client had a great concept in this one single flower.

I am pleased that the occupants of the house love their new flower. Gareth S; an occupant in the house tells me '... It was amazing to see it grow. It has changed our lives'.

I am very pleased, infact, thrilled, that it was exactly what the client wanted! Thank God for that. I Thank God for the beautiful flowers He created that I have simply tried to recreate in my own way in this case, in one gigantic flower; The Lordship Flower.

Thanks for reading and please talk to me. Ask me questions, advise me, encourage me, critic me, tutor me, ideas for blog articles, etc

All the best,