Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Nail polish

A big thanks to all those who turned up for our nail art extravaganza at the Wellcome Collection last Friday. The evening was a big success, with three-and-a-half hours of nail-based beauty being dished out to visitors to Wellcome's Hands event. For those who couldn't make it, a quick recap: Wellcome asked us for something handy, playful and beautiful for their event; after much head-scratching we decided to open a nail bar in the gallery, bringing a bit of London street culture into the space; because nail adornment is all about attraction and display - and to draw on Wellcome's scientific roots - we created nail designs based on polarised light micrographs of the hormones of attraction (adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine); finally, to make sure the designs looked as good on the nails as they did on paper, we enlisted the help of the nail techs from Wah Nails... We hope you'll agree, the girls did a pretty amazing job.

PS. the event also saw the unveiling of our now world-renowned 'knitted kneon' - well, a nice American lady did say she was going to take the idea back to Berkley... Virtually unbreakable, remodelable whenever and however you like, and with the carbon footprint of a sheep, we think it's the greatest invention since the wheel. Possibly.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


Just a quick note to say that Brighton's brilliant l m n o p is now stocking Memories of Water - as well as loads of other beautifully-crafted booty (including Myles' photography book Colour)... Somehow, the book finding its way to the seaside makes us particularly happy. Oh, oh, and Memories... is also now available at the equally fantastic Book Art Bookshop in London. 'Buy now while stocks last' etc etc...
And here's a farewell look at the installation – which has now been painted over (all good things come to an end...).

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Home sweet Home

Exciting news. We've just been confirmed as the commissioned artists for a major new public artwork to be installed on Coldharbour Lane (South London) early next summer. The work is called Home and will surround a ground-breaking new housing development being built by Notting Hill Housing Trust and Skanska (lots of eco credentials and made of huge designer Lego as far as we can tell). More details to follow, but basically Home will transform a large chunk of Coldharbour Lane using the words of 1000+ members of the local community, a CMYK colour palette (the building blocks of print) and a simple optical illusion. We're working on the project with local 'makers' MDM (who work for the likes of Anish Kapoor and the Chapman Brothers). And it'll be over 100 meters long. All good stuff. More info to follow soon.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Memories of Water

Well. What can we say? After many months of graft, sleepless nights, frenzied thinking and even more frenzied making, Memories of Water is finally a real, tangible entity... We didn't dream it. It lives and breathes! (well, for us it does anyway). Initial responses have been very good, and it's selling fast (it's in a limited edition of 100, individually numbered copies - all lovingly signed by both of us - and goes for just £15 a copy... not bad for 130 pages of love, genius and madness). If you like what you see, feel free to drop us an email and we'll give you full details. For now, here's some pretty pictures (cue parental cooing from g&m as they watch their new-born take it's first tentative steps... Sad, but true).

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Publish and be damned

P day has arrived and passed - and, last minute colour corrections and very nearly missing our post-traumatic-stress-holiday-flight aside - Memories of Water has gone to the publishers. Praise be. And, just to prove that we didn't just make it all up on the spur of the moment, here are some pics of the flat plan that guided us through those stormy book-making seas. It's served us well. In fact, we're thinking of getting it cast in bronze, dumping it in Ruskin Park and calling it public art. Yesno?

Monday, 9 August 2010

Misty water-coloured memories

A quick scribble to say that we're now up to our eyes in Memories of Water - 'You've swum in the pool, now read the book' (ok, maybe the strapline needs a bit of work). Anyway, it's a huge, all-consuming project that uses the hundreds of quotes we gathered for the lido artwork (see below) to explore and illuminate our shared fascination with water. The book is pool shaped (or, to the philistine, 'landscape') and uses the water/life cycle as its structure. This means that there's no beginning or end: you swim up the right hand pages then flip the book at the far end (tumble turn) and swim back on the left hand (now, right hand) pages. You can continue doing lengths like this as long as you want (the pages are designed for multiple readings), and you can flip over at any point or just loll around in the shallow end. Fluidity is a big part of the structure - and our whole creative approach.

At this stage, visuals are just rough screengrabs, but will hopefully w(h)et the appetite (sorry) for the finished book - due this autumn.

Friday, 25 June 2010

A-X signing off

After three weeks, three locations (the Pleasaunce, East Greenwich Jetty and Central Park) and more than their fair share of trials and tribulations, our beautiful signs are heading home to the icy north. Until the brilliant Craig finishes his documentary about their tour of the Greenwich Peninsula, these few pictures will be their last words. Once again, a huge thank you to everyone involved...

Friday, 11 June 2010

A-X afloat

A-X has just moved to this handsome jetty on the Thames. New location, 180 new messages - that look great under grey English summer skies as well as the sun that will hopefully make an appearance this weekend. To find them, just walk 100m along the Thames Path south from the O2 - you can't miss them. Each cycle of messages lasts 30minutes - they'll make you smile, sigh and think... or your money back. The settings are way too grand to be done any justice by these tiny pics, so do try to get down there if you can... Next Thursday they'll be moving to their final destination - Central Park (Greenwich, not Manhattan... next year maybe). As ever, full details can be found at the Stream website.

Monday, 7 June 2010

A-X has landed

After six months of public consultation and exploration, A-X has arrived in the Greenwich Peninsula. We'll write full info in due course, but for now here's a hasty pic of one of the two signs in the beautiful East Greenwich Pleasaunce... crazy name, lovely location. The signs will be here until Thursday 10th June, when they'll move to a stunning site on East Greenwich Jetty (hovering over the Thames just south of the O2) and then a week after that they'll move again to Central Park (on the peninsula, just north of the lovely Pilot Inn) for their final seven days. Catch them while you can!... For more info go to Stream Arts (the commissioning group).

Thursday, 6 May 2010

About time (-lapse)

Well, as promised, our making-of film for Memories of Water is now up and running. To see the full glory of the work you really need to dive into the pool (which opens tomorrow!). A fully immersive experience and all that... But for a reminder of how much it rained in the week before easter - and how many beautiful clouds rumbled overhead - you can't beat this sweet little film. Many thanks to James for magically gluing it together.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Water marks

After 18 back-breaking hours painting the floor of Herne Hill's pedestrian tunnel you'd think we'd have learned our lesson. But no. We've just dedicated over 200 man - and woman! - hours to filling Brockwell Lido (a larger-than-olympic-sized pool) with words. And it may be the combination of chronic fatigue, daily drenchings and toxic paint fumes, but very fine it looks too. These memories of water, gathered from hundreds of South Londoners - and a generous sprinkling of overseas lido-lovers - are slowly sinking below the waterline as the pool is filled for the summer. They'll be there for the whole of the swimming season, reflecting the light back into the pool and encouraging bathers to explore the breadth and depths of people's feelings about water. The shallow end contains lighter, more playful memories, while the deep end is where to go for darker more mysterious things...

We're currently working on a time-lapse film which shows the thousands of words appearing around the walls - not to mention the vast amounts of weather that the English spring threw at us (hail, sleet, rain, thunder, lightning, gales, showers, squalls, drizzle... you name it; we even got some sunshine - just to remind us what we were missing). When we're done in techie-land we'll put it up here. Promise.
Thank you to all the aquaphiles and -phobes who shared their beautiful, funny, scary and strange watery memories with us - enjoy seeking them out. A big thanks also, to everyone who turned up with provisions and encouragement throughout the ordeal. Sorry, we mean installation period. And finally, a huge thank you to Lawlor - and his new shoes! - for grafting so tirelessly with us. Miss Walshe would be proud.
The pool opens to the public on 3rd May. Hope to see you all there.

Monday, 8 March 2010

We built this city on cheese and rolls (almost)

So, our edible edifice extravaganza (also known as Barbopolis) has been and gone - and lo it was joyous to behold. Many thanks to the hundreds of people who came down to the Barbican and helped us build our city of the future (although they were, of course, spurred on by the prospect of winning one of our architectural cake trophies).

Still, we definitely couldn't have done it alone. And together we made a landscape of strange, wonky beauty... Just as pleasing was the sight of grown men carefully pruning sliced white bread with child-proof scissors - images we'll hold dear for a long time to come.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Barbi girl (and boy)

Get your A-Zs out! The kind folk at The Barbican have asked us to create an art game for their Do Something Different Weekend (which runs on Sat and Sun 6th and 7th March). So we did. And lo, we named it Barbopolis. If you want, you can find the full details here. But the short version is this: head to the Barbican; make something strange, beautiful and slightly foolish; win a cake-based trophy; consume said trophy with a nice cup of tea/gin. The event is definitely (DEFINITELY) not just for kids. Though they're welcome. We guess. It's running throughout both days, and also on the Saturday evening - solely for the G-ups. Come down - it'll be great. Provided you don't get lost in that underpass...

Monday, 11 January 2010

Water works

Exciting news: it's early days yet, but for the next nine months we'll be the artists in residence at Brockwell Lido (in SE London, for those poor unfortunates who've never visited this stunning art deco pool). Never content with doing things by halves, we're going to be creating an artwork that will transform the entire pool - and we're also producing an art book that sums up the magic of the place and the experience of being in water. The whole project is called Memories of Water, so if you have any to share (beautiful, funny, scary, strange, old, new... whatever) email us and they'll become part of the work.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Signing on

A quick - and slightly cheeky - heads up, to say that we've now started work on our Greenwich Peninsula commission. Can't say too much yet, but suffice to say: a) it's really exciting b) we'll be working with local arts group Stream and loads of local people/groups to make something very special c) it's going to be a large-scale participatory artwork that isn't crap (no really) d) we're going to invade the peninsula with a pair of solar-powered road signs that will be both the voice of power and the voice of the masses - and, not insignificantly, beautiful poetic objects in their own right e) it'll coincide with the general election and run for a month (in May/June) f) it'll present an alternative way for the people to be heard x) it'll be called A to X... y) we seem to have got a bit carried away with this quick post z) if anyone asks, you don't know nothing.