In 2016 I started to create collage murals. Using mixed media, and include abstract drawings, paintings, cut shapes and are often painted on directly, though I also use markers and my process changes, as new ideas come or I get bored with one way of working.
Fablab Saigon, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, February 2017, mixed media
On contemplating these Fablab murals I felt it would be ideal to do simple compositions, as the texture and colours featured in each shape is already quite interesting and some are pretty intense, there are also quite a few of them located around the space so making simple harmonies would be more calming and would help add a point of interest and promote a creative friendly atmosphere.
They are a mixture of art experiments and canvases that I decided had interesting elements but individually I was not so sure about their purpose, so I cut them into shapes, focusing on the interesting parts of each piece, creating a stack of random coloured textured shapes, for each collage I started by choosing a central large shape, I then added more and more smaller shapes, until I found what I felt to be a balanced and interesting composition, but not complete! it is important for me to not complete in one go, so once most of the work is done, with room for finishing pieces, I stop and leave some time before committing to the final additional images, this allows me to be more objective and spend a day or two observing the works before the finishing touches.
Attic Studio, Bangkok, Thailand, February 2017, mixed media
I have been helping out at Attic Studio for the past few weeks, as they provide art classes, so I’ve been teaching and assisting, and it seemed like a great opportunity to do a mural for Laurie (studio director). This collage is a collection of sketchbook abstract drawings, magazine cuttings, plastic film and paint, thanks to Guneet Singh for helping me with this.
The second mural I did for Attic is character based, it is in the children’s workshop space so seemed a suitable place to put some of my characters. These I originally drew more than 10 years ago, and recently cleaned them up and added pattern fills by felt pens, once on the wall I linked everything up with some marker pen curves and patterns.
Bodega Hostel, Bangkok, Thailand, February 2017, marker pens
Bodiga invites artists to create art on their wall, I just happened to be staying there so decided to use markers to create this piece, done in two stages, for stage 1 I used the dents in the wall, by circling them, then joining the circles with various swirls, curls and spirals, with the aim to create a balanced foundation for the piece. I added some abstract faces and then used a variety of rules to create repeating marks and arrangements, finally I used a blue marker to add a pattern type of formation around each face, to highlight them and create points of focus and to generally give the piece impact and fit it to the location.
Ky Quan Cafe, Saigon, Vietnam, January 2017, collage and acrylic paint
For Ky Quan lounge I created 2 murals, at each end, they feature a wide variety of my abstract drawings, pen, felts and paper cut, finally acrylic paint was used to help create some unity, almost like an explosion, perhaps my mind is the centre and these pictures are all shooting out of it.
This mural was created in the Ky Quan office, as the lounge murals it also includes my abstract drawings and patterns, also with some textile and plastic film, the wall was already covered with news print, which I like and I feel really adds to this piece.
Fablab Saigon Cafe, Vietnam, January 2017, collage and acrylic paint
For this mural I incorporated some plastic film, as this creates a nice enclosed space feeling, I felt, as well as a way of adding colour and shapes to help create balance and harmony.
A collection of drawings I did around Saigon and the area near by, showing motorbikes, boats and people going about their daily live, mounted on sacking, to give a rustic feel.
Eduardo Pratts (personal friend), Barcelona, Spain, May 2016, watercolours
This was done on a friend’s wall, using watercolours, quite organic I feel and somewhat rude perhaps. The imagery I create comes from my intuition or subconscious so it is influenced by the things I have absorbed in my life and the place where I am doing the mural.
I am looking for more mural projects, especially connected to residencies, where I can travel and experience different arts communities and also other types of businesses and community projects, as an art teacher I also will work with others to create these through workshops and collaborations. More work coming soon…