I was so high on paint fumes that I have no idea where this photo came from. Sorry!
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club, Liverpool BID commissioned a series of 13 themed events around the city, one for each track on the album.
For the track theme Good Morning Good Morning, there were live performances happening around the city centre between 7am – 12pm and I was asked if I would like to do something for the event. Initially I thought about just painting the inside album sleeve on a board or some cellophane in the city centre because surely the council wouldn’t let me spraypaint a wall? Even so, I also suggested using Montana Chalk paints so it would be temporary, and was pretty surprised when they went with it and asked me to suggest a few walls! Here’s a link to my suggestions.
After a few complications with my first choice, I was allowed to paint on the old BHS building, right in the middle of the main shopping street in Liverpool. No pressure… So I planned out the design, and turned it into a 2 layer stencil (you’ll have to see me at work to figure out how I do it.)
Nothing more nerve-wracking than turning up to a blank wall with an arm full of stencils and a bag full of paint, knowing that the public are going to watch you at work. Luckily I’m kind of used to it now, but there’s still that doubt in the back of your mind hoping it will actually look like who it’s supposed to! Not even the Liverpool BID environmental officer tapping me on the shoulder could shake me now, even though I thought I was going to be arrested there and then.
It was a pretty quiet start and I started to make good progress, my friend Ami-Lee also popped by to see how I was getting on and lent a hand for the morning. People were quite happy to engage, saying it was brightening up the grey hoardings, and I lost track how many selfies were going on behind my back. By the time I’d finished my initial design, I thought it looked a bit too ‘clean’ so added a few drips, splashes and halftones to add a bit of an urban twist to it.
The piece managed to stay up for 5 weeks until it was visibly vandalised. One obvious draw-back to using chalk paint is that it was as easy to remove as it was to paint up, resulting in lots of handprints and graffiti of it. However, the final nail in its coffin was that buskers had taken a real shine to playing in front of it, right outside the Liverpool BID offices, so the people who commissioned it were the ones to paint over it! I can’t even guess how many photos were taken, but I got a real kick every time someone used #sgtpepper50 or tagged me on Instagram.
Going to be hard to top this commission for a while, but I look forward to trying.