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…
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…
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
In my experience it’s good to start them young. Hopefully this young whippersnapper will grow up to have some amazing can control if he’s starting out this young. The image is based on a photo I found on my phone of a friend’s kid looking longingly at the can of paint that I’d put on the table just within his grasp. The next shot I’ve got shows him playing with it (and don’t worry it didn’t actually have a cap on. I have added that for dramatic effect which I’m allowed to do as it’s my picture) but this is the one I like when he’s got that look of concentration like he’s working out what to do next…
Well? What does the fox say? According to the viral hit song by Ylvis they make all kinds of nonsensical sounds and I don’t think that’s entirely fair. Take this fox for instance. He’s living in central London with his girlfriend, has a decent job, is erudite and urbane in all he does and actually has a pretty broad lexicon. He has no trouble expressing his thoughts clearly and with good diction. He can even do a pretty convincing Jamaican accent when he has to. Admittedly though here you’ve caught him just about to indulge in one of his favourite pastimes which is, perhaps, not quite so respectable. When darkness falls there’s nothing he likes to do more than ‘skipping’ or, as the Americans like to call it, ‘dumpster diving’. He’ll tear your bin bags to pieces just for the fun of it. And then perhaps compose a short poem about it afterwards. As is the life of the fox…
Anyway, the fox is a first attempt at doing my own cutouts using a jigsaw and I’m pleased to say I still have all my fingers. He’s been cut out of some MDF and comes complete with glowing LED eyes that just make him look badass come dusk. Until tragedy strikes cutouts are my new favourite thing…
So taking a look at these two who do you think is most kingly? I can’t tell myself as I think they both look as shady as each other and I’m pretty sure that’s not what you should be seeing in a king. That said I think the fella on the right just pips the other to the post but who am I to say. Now if we think about the UK we could say that William is most kingly but surely if Harry was king things would be a little more interesting to say the least, but, do you want that is the question. So when all is said and done I’m probably going to stick with Thomas Hardy who is responsible for the quote and stick with William. In fact does it not go to Charles first? Oh bugger!!
Title: He who seems most kingly is king
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, biro, gold leaf and charcoal