as it happens...

Friday, 1 March 2013


I’ve been extremely blessed to be staying at a friend of mines fantastic guesthouse whilst in Johannesburg aka Jozi and they also found me a pretty damn fine wall to paint.

It was a late start on the wall, after an afternoon of running around fabric shops in the city collecting some new fabric snapshots. By around 2pm I started laying down the foundations of the painting.

A Zanzibar red colobus, (procolobus kirkii) have been registered as endangered for 26 years, since 1986. They are rapidly declining in numbers and it’s not the only colobus suffering from the same sad plight. This species is endemic to Zanzibar Island where it occurs at elevations of 0-110 m. They may once have lived on the mainland, but are completely extirpated there now. Red Zanzibars are now found mainly in the South Eastern part of the island in Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park. In 1974 approximately 14 animals were introduced to Ngezi Forest Reserve, Pemba Island, where the species is believed to persist in small numbers but has never managed to sustain itself successfully to rebuild numbers.

Today’s population is estimated at 2,000 individuals but is decreasing rapidly mainly due to deforestation but occasionally as a result of hunting, sport and supposed pest control.

By the time it got dark, I was only half finished the wall so returned the following day to continue and decided that I wanted to introduce a second endangered guy to the wall; an Amatola Malachite or Basking Malachite. These insects are also decreasing rather rapidly, with no more than 1000 adults left. Unfortunately when the farmed cattle arrive at the river banks, they trample these little guys to death and they only live in a few sites, ten sites has recently decreased to two and the future of these beautiful insects is unknown.

lots of love to the elfin for continuously fixing my scrawls and making them legible...
im off to safari today so the next blog is all about what i find...iv been waiting to go on safari since i was about seven years old...bittttttt excited....

one love

Thursday, 28 February 2013


So thanks to Disney and other screen presentations, we as the general public have a strange relationship with the vulture.  My first encounters with them were in South America and I was fascinated by watching them circling above in mass, tornado like cones. That was over 12 years ago now and unfortunately all species of vulture have experienced a rapid decline in numbers, 35% each year in fact, since 1999.

Africa is home to three very endangered vultures, one of which is the Egyptian. They cover a greater area than Egypt, finding homes in India, Eastern and Central Africa and also Europe.  There are a few reasons for their decline; the absorption of veterinary antibiotics which suppresses their immune system, declining habitat, urbanisation, a shortage of carrion, which they feed on and a whole host of other problems which they are fighting a losing battle against. The latter has a major knock on effect in the ecosystem, as if the carrion increases but the vulture population continues to decrease, then disease will inevitably become more widely spread. Vultures are imperative for cleaning up the lands death, which is not limited to animals, according to the religious practice of the Parsi people, their dead bodies cannot be buried or burnt because the corpses could pollute the Panchabhootam (earth, water, air, ether and fire). So their bodies are left in a high-rise ‘Tower of Silence’ to be consumed by the scavengers. Vultures were the first scavengers on Earth and are vital to a sustained ecological balance.

I painted this piece with a couple of graff writers from the Demolition Squad. Painting with writers is great because it changes the way that the composition of the piece works. The walls are always much longer and often not as high. We painted in an area, that like most graff or street art related areas in a city, are run down and full of lots of community involvement. This wall was no exception, we had only primed the wall when a lady with her yappy toy dog turned up demanding that we didn’t paint evil things. Over the next hour we heard this from another three or so people and we started to feel a lot of hate. This soon changed as the day progressed and the piece evolved, we eventually won the community over…

Much love to my new Jozi homies, hopefully I’ll get another piece done with these guys before I return to Capetown next week…

the guy taking the photograph above is a sick photographer... 
here is a link to his website...i urge you to take the webtrip over and have a look...hes also coming over to london in a couple months so im sure that we will be painting a few pieces together in london soon...

Monday, 25 February 2013


The art of being creative and creating art itself is something that has always been a part of my life since I was a kid, in fact it’s more or less the only thing I have ever felt I could do with real confidence. I began working with spray cans three years ago as I believe in constantly challenging myself as much as possible, however the constant bombardment of Internet street art viewing has left me feeling exhausted by something I truly love. It is this weariness which lead me to realise that if I’m going to continue painting on the streets and be a part of this cyber viewing craze, then I need a message and purpose behind what I’m doing. Although one of the most inspiring things that has come from this new age of accessible Internet art, is seeing that artists are now traveling the world painting walls from one land to the next, spreading their voice. Last year I spent time in Jamaica and this year I’m in South Africa, where half of my Dad’s side of the family live. With the desire to paint for purpose, I have embarked on a new painting project to highlight the plight of endangered animals, which, whilst it is difficult to be precise as many species die out without even being discovered, is a problem which continues to get worse.

Wednesday 20th February

I arrived in Capetown and sat down to indulge in peaches and juice with Indigo and her friend Raphael, at my adopted apartment for the month. By mid-afternoon on Thursday I had bought around 50 cans of paint and set to work planning my train journey up to Johannesburg. That evening I found myself in Woodstock for an art talk with Remed and Freddy Sam, which left me feeling even more amped for painting, not only during this trip but on walls around the world.

The Train to Johannesburg: Two Hours Down, 24 to Go

I’ve always wanted to take a long train journey, I’ve been on a fair few long bus journeys through South America but never a 26 hour train ride and the prospect is exciting. A few people tried to persuade me to take a flight but I won’t be told, I know when I need to tread a path, there’s an eternal passing landscape and for me, that’s the beauty of a train, the track always runs through the wilderness. Two hours in and I don’t know for sure but it seems that apart from some obvious heavy drinkers, I’m among a safe crowd. The sleeper cabins which are suggested for tourists were all full, so I’m in Third Class where all the action happens. I’m among clicks of Afrikaans and women singing, im quietly beaming.

Six Hours in a Tin Can

Blazing sun, tensions are rising, there’s now a genuine and palpable discomfort amongst some of the passengers. Is it the heat, is it the alcohol or is it just who they are? The afternoon sun draws to an end and I know it will start cooling down again soon, but not for a while. It’s time to listen to some music. Cigarette smoke fills my nostrils and burns my eyes. I can’t keep my eyes open longer than an hour, can’t keep them closed half of that. I’m learning my levels of tolerance.

24 Hours

I feel like I’m in a moving prison, my eyes are so heavy with sleep deprivation, my bowels expanded with no relief. Rumour has it we are sentenced to a two hour delay. The night got rowdy, people fought, young men prowled the train corridors looking for a pickup, everyone is drinking the boredom away. The morning is much quieter, we all shuffle on our seats looking for the next least uncomfortable position.

30 Hours Later

I’m here, I’m actually pulling into Johannesburg. Now can I go and paint please?

many thanks to ro elfberg for grammerising my punk ass