Category Archives: Art

Progress

The aim of the game is to paint as much as you can before 1pm, trying to do anything after that is a sweaty struggle in this ridiculous heat and humidity. Here’s some more photos from the front line.

 

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Diary Entry #4. Rashes, Welts, Bites & Hives – Mysterious Al.

Rashes, welts, bites and hives. My body is 90% covered in them. Why would I get bitten on the elbow? I don’t know, but it’s happened. I’ve also crushed a snail the size of a tennis-ball, seen spiders the size of dinner plates (almost) and encountered all manner of vile insects that are straight out of the ravine scene in that King Kong remake.

From the villages we’ve visited so far, It’s clear that Gambian people are very sociable, and happy to embrace foreigners into their daily lives. The residents of Kubuneh; a village we’ve been painting a lot, are always smiling. They live to simple means, but are rightly very proud of their village.

Since I’ve been in Africa I’ve tried to embrace the environment that surrounds me when making work. This is difficult when the environment has 90% humidity, is baking hot, and is trying to eat me alive.

I’ve been painting patterns on small huts, logs, leaves and trees… But today Xens and I painted a proper obnoxious London banger… The villagers loved it (sort of).

Aside the rashes covering my skin, and the 100% Deet insect repellant actually removing parts of my tattoos (seriously), the thing I’ll take away from Africa is a sense of overwhelming positivity and community from its helpful, astute and incredibly charming residents.

It just goes to show how beautiful a community can be without getting fucked up by ridiculous shit like blackberry, stupid television shows, twitter and TV. God I miss that shit.

– Mysterious Al.

 

More Photos

We’re now very happy to have the amazing photographic talents of Ian Cox from Wallkandy with us and he’s been doing a top job documenting the goings on in Kubuneh village. Here’s a few of his snaps from the village.

Diary Entry #3. ‘Where does that Bolong Belong?’ – Xenz.

I now understand what WOW means, I’m not gonna tell you because its better if you find out yourself, but what I will say is it’s amazing but you could probably have guessed that so if you’re still reading I’ll tell you about today….Me and Eelus got in a jeep and went to a school in a remote village (Makumbaya) where we were greeted by hundreds and hundreds of children just going absolutely BONKERS! Its hard to overstate how happy these kids were; Everyone asking ‘hello’, ‘what’s your name?’, ‘how are you?’ and shaking our hand, it was really good . Anyway, it pans out that I end up painting a quick map of the Gambia on the school wall but I only had a text book from the 90s to copy the river and with the assistance of the teachers we managed to get a rough renditon of the map on the wall whilst demonstrating how art is brilliant and can be fun. But…. I only had a few colours and only had a fat cap, one that sprays paint fast in a thick line, the kind I like using when im drunk in the dark, the kind I use when I don’t want to do something that hundreds of kids will use as reference for exams and generaly conversations about their home land…have alook at a map of the gambia …theres very long names…the teachers dictated them to me it was a bit like Countdown or Scrabble, but with spraycans and geography. This was a very rough map that I’d painted on the exterior wall of the school, I did it quick while my skin boiled in the sun but I got a few things wrong as you would anyway. The tributarys of the river are called bolongs and I ended up asking where does this bolong belong anyway..blaa blaaaa you had to be ther it was very funny. I said to the teacher as I left I learned a lot today. I learned how to paint small letters and long words with a fat cap and that for every bad dirty fat cap tag I did when I was 14 I got all my karma today and it was fucking brilliant.

-Xenz.

First Peek

Cans have been unpacked, colours chosen, brushes have been in motion and Wide Open Walls is finally fully underway. Here’s a peek at what’s been going on so far over here at Kubuneh Village.

Many more photos and posts to follow as the project progresses.

 

Diary Entry #2. There Goes the Neighborhood.

Big day yesterday. All the artists arrived into The Gambia safe and sound, all the artists apart from Ben Eine that is, who not only chose not to come, chose to tell us he wasn’t coming the day he should have been here. Big shame.

Anyway, moving on, there is an excitement in the air here, and a calm before the storm. Tomorrow we’ll all travel by boat down to Kubuneh Village for the first time and begin work. The African sun, brutal and unforgiving, will certainly take it’s toll on everyone out there, water and shade will be close allies for the next fortnight.

I’m itching to see the beginnings of what has been a years worth of planning and excitement. Not long now till the sound of spray cans shaking and the site of brush strokes and stencils.

So expect to start seeing some photos of the official beginning of Wide Open Walls at some point tomorrow.

Onwards and upwards!

– Eelus.

 

Interview on Zeitgeist Blog

An awesome new site to rise from the depths of everything arty and cultural is Zeitgeist Blog. I had a chat with them about the project and you can read how it went HERE.