I was approached by our local men's group to carry out an #artproject/mural for a prominent place in Headford. I'd passed the dishevelled wall in question on many occasion and pondered the idea of doing something to 'cheer it up', so decided to meet the lads and see what they had in mind. We all met for the first time on Tuesday 28th May 2013 and exchanged ideas. Brainstorming is always such an exciting part of the creative process as many thoughts come to the surface and it's always surprising to hear what way people are thinking. As I've said on many occasions, listening is key to the entire process.
How do we respect and implement everyone's ideas?
How do we work together as a united group?
How do we find out what people's strengths are and honour them?
How do we represent the greater community in what we're doing?
How do we carry out the project and get as much joy out of it on a personal level but as a group also?
It was a good ploy to meet on their behalf because as soon as I'd met them all, I was sold on the idea and we 'hit it off' as a group.
What is a Men’s Shed? (Irish Association of Men's sheds.) www.menssheds.ie/
'A Men’s Shed is a dedicated, friendly and welcoming meeting place where men come together and undertake a variety of mutually agreed activities.
Men’s Sheds are open to all men regardless of age, background or ability. It is a place where you can share your skills and knowledge with others, learn new skills and develop your old skills.
New members are always welcome and can be assured that there is something of interest for everyone as the men have ownership of their Shed and projects and decide their own programme of events.
An objective of #MensSheds is to enhance or maintain the well-being of the participating men.'
If you're interested in the #Headford men's shed please contact John at Solas
|John at solas|
Everyone has a different sense of aesthetics, some imagined a 'Constable landscape' as a finished mural, whilst others wanted a 'Bansky' effort, but one thing was clear, we had to use the skills we had as a group and as nobody had painted anything large scale before it had to be simple, striking and achievable by all. On this occasion, we couldn't embrace anything 'Constable' but we decided to work in the spirit of Banksy doing surprising artworks under the cloak of night which would get the #community talking and anticipating.
|Black bird - temporary mural Headford _ June/July/Aug 2013|
You'd think doing a bit of graffiti at 3am on a Friday morning in sleepy Headford would be sure to go unnoticed. Who'd be around at that time? No-one I thought, but how wrong could I have been? First a lady drove by, waved and came over for a chat. She was so nice, she even assisted me by shining her headlights onto the wall where I was working, then got a paint brush and joined in for the craic. Next, a hand on the shoulder and a 'Caught you!' from another lady who also painted a couple of hearts for the sheer fun. 'Thanks a million guys, but what are ye doing out at this time of the morning?' 'Oh we're waiting for the bus?' 'Huh?' 'Yeah, the leaving cert. students finished their exams today and they'll be along any minute!' Sure enough, an entire bus load of swaying teenagers pulled up and out they got, wondering 'what the...!'
So graffiti under the cloak of night doesn't necessarily work.
The guards even drove by at one point, I waved and they waved back.
Obviously you get away with a lot more as a vandal in your forties!
We met many times throughout the project and finally came up with designs and a colour scheme which everyone liked.
|Headfest brochure launch - Campbell's Tavern|
One of the things that was really important to the whole group was whether we could do this in secrecy and then have a spectacular unveiling?[The unveiling was planned to coincide with the official opening of #Headfest2013 - #Headfest being the main sponser of all the materials required for this project.] We couldn't work directly on the wall - there'd be no surprise, therefore, 8' x 4' marine plywood boards were used. We painted the #designs in vibrant eggshell which is both durable and stylish for an exterior location.
|Two hot men, hot for action in the heat of Headford|
Thanks to #Monaghan's showroom (#Topaz Headford) for allowing the use of the space
|At midnight in Headford|
|The night before|
|The big reveal -August 9th 2013|
|xx Mark and I|
Headfest Launch - By Kevin McNicholas