After reading about the exploits of Major Robert Henry Cain I just knew that we had to create a piece featuring him. They don’t come much more swashbuckling than the good Major. He is the only Manx recipient (to date) of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy, which was awarded for his brave actions during the Battle of Arnhem. I’m sure the history books can describe it much better than me but suffice it to say he loved to take out German armour with whatever weaponry was at hand and at the Battle of Arnhem alone personally destroyed six tanks and an unspecified number of self propelled field guns. As the wording for his VC states:
“On 20th September (1944) a Tiger tank approached the area held by his company and Major Cain went out alone to deal with it armed with a PIAT (anti-tank weapon). Taking up a position he held his fire until the tank was only 20 yards away when he opened up. The tank immediately halted and turned its guns on him, shooting away a corner of the house near where this officer was lying. Although wounded by machine gun bullets and falling masonry, Major Cain continued firing until he had scored several direct hits, immobilised the tank and supervised the bringing up of a 75 mm. howitzer which completely destroyed it. Only then would he consent to have his wounds dressed.
In the next morning this officer drove off three more tanks by the fearless use of his PIAT, on each occasion leaving cover and taking up position in open ground with complete disregard for his personal safety.
During the following days, Major Cain was everywhere where danger threatened, moving amongst his men and encouraging them by his fearless example to hold out. He refused rest and medical attention in spite of the fact that his hearing had been seriously impaired because of a perforated eardrum and he was suffering from multiple wounds.
On 25 September the enemy made a concerted attack on Major Cain’s position, using self-propelled guns, flame throwers and infantry. By this time the last PIAT had been put out of action and Major Cain was armed with only a light 2″ mortar. However, by a skilful use of this weapon and his daring leadership of the few men still under his command, he completely demoralized the enemy who, after an engagement lasting more than three hours, withdrew in disorder.”
Before the remains of his division withdrew and crossed the Rhine he took the time to shave then waited til all his men were across before he himself crossed on an old boat. Now, if that’s not a classic British stiff upper lip then I don’t know what is. To top it all off he was the only man to receive the VC at Arnhem who lived to tell the tale. To list more of his adventures would take far too long and I would suggest you check out his wikipedia page for more information and unlikely tales of derring-do. Now I just need to find something suitable to do with our little tribute…
With the temperatures hitting sub zero and the nights somehow still drawing in we decided the remedy was to brighten things up a bit and make our second Christmas wall at sportswear shop ‘Forty Five’ about as full colour as we could go. So we decided to hit the Mardi Gras theme and go for Mr. Voodoo in his Mardi Gras mask enjoying some bodyrocking sounds as the carnival gets into full swing. I’ve never been to Mardi Gras so am having a hard time imagining exactly what kind of tunes he’d be getting down to but they’re definitely party tunes and his mojo is surely rising…
Life moves faster at 45 – complete with cheeky little nephews…
Ever wondered what you’d get if you ask us to do some designs based around the number 45? Well, wonder no longer. This is the first of two walls based on exactly that…
Despite the fact that it’s been Christmas (and I hope you had a good one!) we have been busier than usual for this time of year and have, for once, actually managed to get some work done. We were commissioned to do a couple of walls in Forty Five, a sportswear shop on the Isle of Man, and had the designs all approved before returning home for Christmas so all we had to do was cut some stencils and get to work. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well it should have been but Christmas drinks are hard to avoid around here. At least we got it done though. Even if it did take a bit longer than anticipated. The quote was taken from the drunken ramblings of a friend but I think it fits the bill perfectly in this case…
We’ve just completed an epic roadtrip for Dogs Trust where we painted 12 walls in 12 cities in 12 days for their annual ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ campaign. Each day had a different dog and featured a real (and entirely ridiculous) reason that a dog had been handed in to one of their rehoming centres.
We started off in London and then had to pack up the van and hit the road for 12 fun filled days hitting a new city each day and then moving straight on. We usually started about 9 and then had to be finished by 2 as they’d bring along a dog from the nearby rehoming centre to get some photo’s in order to try and get some publicity for the campaign and spread the word about responsible dog ownership.
I think my favourite dogs are the collie from London, the playful puppy from Glasgow and our final wall in Brighton that features a pug who was handed in as he kept chasing frogs. Who could possibly hand a pug in for that? Remember kids ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’…
It’s not every day that we get a chance to be on ITV London news but if you live in London and kept your eyes peeled you may have caught us yesterday evening. ITV had sent their on the scene news reporter, Nick Thacher, to Brixton to do a report on how community groups who take care of their area can create lower crime rates and naturally we featured. Our mural of Lady Sulina that we did at the annual street party a couple of months ago was included as brightening up the area and reducing problem graffiti. ha! id-iom 1 world 0. Our mum will be so proud.
When the id-iomphone rings we answer. This time the call took us to Milton Keynes. We’ve worked for the folk behind the imminently opening MK Social a couple of times before so thought we knew what to expect. After an early start, at an hour not normally known to urban artists unless they’re hitting the streets for some late night redecoration, we set off for the bright lights of MK. We had two big walls and a little bit of street work to complete over the course of a couple of days. We even had a scissor lift but unfortunately for us it wouldn’t reach to the wall behind the bar so it was back to basics and a huge ladder was soon procured. We couldn’t be having it too easy now could we?
Anyway, as a reminder to myself, the wallpaper style background is all well and good when you’re designing it but it’s a different matter when you’re trying to align stencils 30ft up in the air. Particularly when you’re hanging off a ladder to do so. Suffice it to say that we at least managed to get it all completed without a trip to A&E. After the walls were done there was then the matter of a little street promotion work consisting of us wandering around high traffic areas with a stencil and a few cans of chalk spray paint to get word out to potential punters. Some mucky hands and messy clothing later and it was time to bid adieu to MK until next time. Let’s hope the locals appreciate it all…
As if Tesco didn’t earn enough money to start with. I’d like to think that I’m not alone when I don’t even comprehend what exactly you have to do to misidentify profits to the tune of a quarter of a billion pounds but I think it’s some kind of masterclass that id-iom needs to be taking a part of. Anyway, we racked our brains to see if we could possibly imagine what kind of fantastic device you would use to achieve such extravagant imaginary profits and here is the kind of apparatus I envisaged they were using at Tesco HQ to pump those profits up like a balloon. Like it says on the packaging:
“Please remember that overinflated profits can lead to the auditors being called in. People may get sacked and your business may be at risk”
As you can probably tell by the fact she has a kingfisher nestled on her shoulder and two lovely little hummingbirds racing to taste the nectar of the blossoming lily she’s leaning in to sniff this lady is at one with nature. She has communed with her environment and found that she is now so in tune with her biorhythms and the natural cycle of life that she can talk with the animals just like Dr Doolittle. I’m only joking. She took some pretty strong acid about an hour ago and now thinks exclusively in smells and colours and can, as far as she’s concerned, converse with the imaginary birds and flowers that are crowding round her. Also, she thinks she’s leaning in to sniff the flower like Michael Jackson with his anti-gravity lean in the Smooth Criminal video. That’s just how muddled she is. I guess the moral of the story is that things aren’t always what they seem. Or something like that.
She’s was made using the magic of acrylic paint, paint pen, stickers and charcoal on a large (A1 size) bit of coloured paper. She will surely look magnificent when framed up. If you’re interested drop us a line…
According to the internet to be ‘happy go lucky’ is to be cheerfully unconcerned about the future. Which sounds like a nice, but tricky to achieve, frame of mind to be in. The text is taken from a book called ‘Agent ZigZag’ which is about Eddie Chapman, one of Britain’s most successful double agents during WWII, who surely must have been able to muster this devil-may-care attitude to be able to operate the complicated double life that he lead. Convincing the Germans that you’ve sabotaged the de Havilland factory when in fact you’ve faked the whole thing must be pretty satisfying – especially when you get cash and a yacht for doing so. Anway, this fella has pulled off something similar and despite the fact he looks a little moody, is in fact just about to break into a huge smile as soon as your back is turned, But til then he’s going to give you his luck of steely determination whilst mentally he’s already thinking about spending his ill gotten gains.
Title: Happy go lucky
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, spray paint, copied documents and charcoal
I adore 34! What a statement. What kind of person would make such an outrageous statement. Well, the way I see it there are two ways of looking at it:
One: The lady in the piece is a lunatic. ‘How do you work that out?’ I hear you ask. Well, the way I see it 34 is the atomic number of Selenium and, as we all know, Selenium was named after Selene who, in Greek mythology, was the goddess of the Moon. Lunatic derives from lunaticus meaning “of the moon” or “moonstruck”. So, there you have it. She’s a loony.
Two: The lady in the piece is a porn addict. ‘By what tortured route have you arrived at that conclusion?’ I hear you gasp in amazement. I’m glad you asked as this one is actually a bit more straight forward. The fact that you are undoubtedly reading this on the internet means that you will probably be aware of rule #34 of the internet. Which, for those of you less adventurous types out there is, “If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions”. So, therefore, this lady is a bona fide porn addict who loves it in all it’s kaleidoscopic forms. Well somebody has to.
This little beauty is A2 in size and features some snazzy gold leaf amongst other less exciting materials. It’s available for sale for anybody who’d be interested. Just drop us a line…
Title: I adore 34
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, gold leaf, silver leaf, photocopied documents, spraypaint and charcoal