Tuesday, 30 December 2014

sans patrie

We were asked us to explore the iconic phrase 'sans patrie/without homeland' from a new artistic perspective.

The phrase once expressed a way of rebellion, defined as 'he who has legally no patria, or denies all patria'. This concept is particularly important to Sarah, who, as a migrant herself, specialises in the field of plural identities, migration and métissage.

Believing that in current times, 'sans patrie' could finally express a way of being free from nationalistic attachment, as we 
move beyond the concept of one nation-one belonging, through the acceptance of cohesive and diverse transnational identities.

Friday, 12 December 2014

biffy clyro barrowlands screenprint

We were asked by Biffy Clyro to create a screenprint based on our visual interpretation of the Blackened Sky and Puzzle album covers for their very special one-off Barrowlands Glasgow show.

Below is a preview of the limited 200 edition A2 screen print signed and numbered and available to purchase in our online store from tomorrow.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

fallen blossom

This piece represents a defining moment for Greenpeace actions manager and lover of Japanese culture, Nikki, who was in the field in Fukushima after the great Tōhoku earthquake tsanami.

Overwhelmed by the power of nature, she told not only of the devastated landscape but how the resilience of people defies all odds to come together in times of crisis and need.

Whilst radiation monitoring, she found a beautiful old wooden Kokeshi doll amongst the destruction. She brushed off the sand and underneath the faded Sakura showed through. This small doll now travels with her - as a symbol of hope.

'Speak of the triumph of the human spirit over selfishness and death'.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


The below piece serves as a reminder to Carlos that we need to fight to make the most of what we've been given. That involves exploring, discovering, participating, sharing and most importantly, being constantly curious about every detail of life.

By overcoming the senselessness of time itself, we perceive the importance of the present and can conquer our fears with the right mindset.

Made at The White Elephant Studio, Hackney, London

Friday, 24 October 2014

love conquers all

'Love Conquers All'  
The White Elephant Studio, London

We created this piece on Simon Neil, the singer of Scottish band Biffy Clyro.
Having found his soulmate in his wife, Simon requested a piece to echo the feeling of belonging together and love conquering all, even death. Inspired by the bravery, toughness and love of his grandparents along with the entire WWII generation.

Monday, 15 September 2014

the nomads

As role of assistant curator at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Namkha came across our work whilst discovering contemporary emerging artists. After following our practice with great curiosty, she contacted us along with her partner wishing to represent the essential steps in their wonderful journey of life thus far. 

In true nomadic fashion, they travelled from Qatar with their newborn son to have us express their deep urge and fascination for travel, discovery, adventure and path.

Rafael has always had a fascination with geography (in particular, maps) and discovering and experiencing every inch of this world.  His journey in life thus far has taken him to over 60 different countries, having lived and worked in five continents over the last 13 years.  This "nomadic" lifestyle has resulted in a loss of a traditional national identity and instead, identifying more with different components of the many numerous cultures and traditions that he encounters.

As a result of this transient lifestyle, it is often necessary to dispense with the comfort, security and stability of the current situation and adapt to new cultures, thus reinventing himself in a completely new context.  However, throughout all of these turbulent changes, a common thread now persists, which is his wife and newborn son.  

Rafael's unorthodox nature allows him to think "outside of the box" and to think creatively,and unconventionally when solving problems and implementing solutions, believing that his own artistic education has had a strong influence on him professionally.

Below is our depiction of Rafael's journey as he so beautifully rejects the traditional, sedentary lifestyle that society expects you to conform to.

'To the Ends of the Earth'

'Sky Full of Stars'

For Namkha, the locations visited directly correspond with cardinal steps in her life which have allowed her to grow both intellectually and emotionally.

As a strong believer in protecting and cultivating the creative spirit as much as possible in order to invent (or re-invent) her life whenever the opportunity presents itself, she recreates a home for her family at every destination. To Namkha, creativity is a state of mind and a way of living your life the way you want, much more than the definition given by society according to your professional activity. Feeling as though there was a creative fire within, the book of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves has been a profound inspiration, in which the author describes the necessity for women to find again their ‘creatura’ (creativity) inside themselves: 

"Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of woman. But she is an endangered 
species […]. For though the gifts of wildish nature belong to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilise” us into rigid roles has muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own soul”.

Namkha describes the book to be 'a precious guide to reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Once the woman takes back this wild creativity, a parallel is drawn between her and the wolf: “She runs, dances, and howls with them. Full of vitality, creativity, she feels good in her body, energetic soul and life giver. It is up to us to be that woman”.'

Namkha's tattoo depicts an empowered woman/animal metamorphosing. The transformation symbolising the duality between the everyday woman and the ‘Creatura’, expressing the creative force carried throughout her life which gives her the strength to transcend herself.

The beautiful Tibetan name Namkha meaning 'sky full of stars', features in both designs, which constitute of various similar abstract and cartographic elements, but are ultimately unique, as the individuals.

We wish this lovely family all the very best and look forward to hearing about their future adventures!

Rafael and Namkha together

Namkha and little Oscar embracing his creativity!

Friday, 5 September 2014

the cry of the earth

The Cry of the Earth depicts our current man-made ecological crisis. As a lover of nature and active participant in his local ecological association, Noille contributes his efforts to halt mankind's ever-increasing destruction of our natural environment.

Cry of the Earth, Inkme Tattoo, Perpignan, France

Sunday, 31 August 2014

the written word

The below piece depicts the power and possibilities of the written word. To lose oneself in literature and poetry, in the books and texts that can rewrite your mind. The words that completely unsettle you, the stories that smash your cranial bone, and thinking in the logic of the dream. For Phillip, who as student of german literature and language, has been writing texts for a very long time, the written word is a special way of seeing and understanding the world. Having listed Walter Benjamin as one of the important literary figures in his life, we included text from the critic and philosopher's essay “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” where Benjamin gives his depiction of the Paul Klee piece 'Angelus Novus'.

The Written Word: Needles Side, Thonon-les-Bains, France

'A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.'

Thursday, 28 August 2014

light on the water

Matthieu wrote to us expressing a very touching and personal account of his passions and way of thinking. Following a heartbreaking tragedy involving the loss of his younger sister, he has come to believe that happiness is not something you reach, it is a state of mind, a choice. 

Inspired by a poignant text of the Dalai Lama, it is these small details that give meaning and fulfilment to Matthieu's life, in a world where this attitude is seldom embraced. 

It is this mindset that has enabled Matth to move forward, together with his brother, which we depicted below, as well as his immense love of nature. Having been contaminated by travel from an early age, Matth has always loved to live outside, ensuring that water is never too far away and where he can gather time to think amongst the changing colours of the leaves. Stemming from his father's vinyl collection, his passion for music will continue throughout his life.

'Light on the Water' : Needles Side, Thonon-les-Bains

Thursday, 14 August 2014

eternity in an hour

Since losing his grandfather a few years ago, Californian Tyson developed an incredible fear of getting older. During these past few months Tyson has also had the wonderful experience of falling in love for the very first time, thus realising that love makes the idea of growing older and dying exciting and extremely horrifying at the same time. As the grains of sand pass through our hands, we must embrace and cherish this beautiful feeling and make each magical moment last forever.  

'Eternity in an Hour'  Inkme, Perpignan, France


Tuesday, 12 August 2014


Wonderfully eccentric English gentleman Josh contacted us with another of his fascinating concepts which we thoroughly enjoyed illustrating. Please find his delightful email below...

Gaia, Needles Side, Thonon-les-Bains, France

"The female subject is Engulfed by an exotic jungle far away from anywhere. As she stands buried in what we call nature, she is >
Isolated in a moment of time submersed in seemingly her own consciousness, reality appears to abruptly expand, her seams of perception rip to reveal & showcase the "designers" intentions, mother earths own living, moving, pragmatic monumental life machine..
The sheer depth and intricacy patterns colour's and wildlife all seemingly with its own agenda and purpose vibrating in perfect chaotic harmony.
Does it just so happen that a plant has roots to collect water which enables it to grow and water just so happens to fall from the sky, the sky just so happens to have a ball of gas called the Sun floating in it. Plants just so happen to produce oxygen. Why does it all have to appear so stunning?
The female subject is a pilot on an ancient futuristic trip. A celebration of mother earth's art!"

Featuring 'Electronic Awakening'  
See/read more here: electronic awakening

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

free palestine

Our latest paste ups around east London, highlighting the plight of the Palestinian people and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Once more, Gazan civilians are being made to pay the price of war as over 1,800 people have lost their lives and more than 9,000 have been injured. Civilians amount to around 80% of casualties, many of which are children, as the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) deliberately target schools, hospitals and entire neighbourhoods.

We wholeheartedly condemn the appallingly disproportionate violence against civilians and call for our government to heed public opinion and stand with the oppressed, not the oppressor. PLEASE sign here to push our shameful and compliant prime minister to stand on the right side of history and enforce a total arms embargo to completely halt the flow of all military equipment between the UK and Israel.  

'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.'

End the suffering. Spread the love. Humanity as one.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Resilience and Integrity

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelo

Christine from Portland USA, wrote us a lovely letter which told of the incredible life of her wonderful grandmother,  focussing on her two most fundamental traits that she still strives everyday to live up to: Resilience and Integrity.   

Christine described the endless amount of love and nurturing spirit of her grandmother. Her ability to recognise each individual for their strengths and teach the responsibility to grow, and to hold oneself with integrity. Through her example, Christine has learned to become the best version of herself all the while loving, appreciating, and encouraging others in the same way her grandmother has done for her. 

A woman who thrived in the reality of uprooting herself and her family and moving to foreign lands with divergent cultures, whose integrity and her respect for all people carried her through the good times and the bad and whose life experiences read like a fiction novel.

As a huge lover of science fiction, Christine finds herself connecting the concepts of resilience and integrity to her affinity with the concepts of Space and Time.  Having realised upon contemplation that integrity is simply how one holds themselves in Space and resilience is how one holds themselves over Time. 

It was a pleasure and an honour to meet and illustrate this lovely lady's story.

Monday, 9 June 2014

happiness is only real when shared

Swiss DJ Erik wrote to us expressing his passion for love, music and and the importance of freedom.  
To Erik, love is the most powerful feeling one can find. Touched by the story "Into the Wild" by John Krakauer, which tells the tragic fate of  Christopher McCandless, who, by seeking happiness through independence and solitude, before his death wrote his last words "Happiness is only real when shared." We depicted Erik's love for his girlfriend, who he described as his reason for living, as well as the happiness found through raising a glass to life and dreams with his nearest and dearest.
As a Dj, Erik loves to share the passion and emotions felt through the body and soul and believes that human consciousness and outworld perception can be changed by music.

Friday, 6 June 2014

it was raining, everything was blue

Fashion photographer Naura's tattoo tells the story of a very personal and distressing incident in her life. The tattoo serves as a reminder of the decisions she has made, as she now begins a new chapter of her life. Feeling now as though she has been resurrected, emerging from the dark clouds that have been hanging over her for so long. 

Friday, 30 May 2014


Hannah's tattoo symbolises the love of her parents through which she has had the strength and courage to cope through difficulties in her life and grow into the wonderful person she is today. We depicted her parents as the authentic lady and gentleman Hannah described them to be. Loosely based on a photo from their wedding day, their love and protection are Hannah's moral guidelines for the future.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Earth's Endless Paradoxes

a quest for creativity
hidden in simplicity
a battle of feelings and words
thoughts and sounds
imagination and image

an attempt to explain the earths endless paradoxes
a world of endless evil
sheltered by the good's retrieval
of happiness and compassion
from depravity and pain
a world drained by financial gain
our sin is the yin
time will tell if we can be the yang

Sam sent us these thought-provoking words he had written, requesting us to create a piece based on the second stanza of the poem  - "the earth's endless paradoxes".  These paradoxes, as Sam explained,  exist in everyone's mind; the everyday tug of war between what we choose to perceive as good / evil and all the grey areas in between. Ultimately,  goodness has to come from within on a personal level before it can be spread to others.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

not enough hours

Topographer Tina or 'vermessungstechniker' in her native German, wrote to us describing her creative and outdoor passions outside of her technical job. These including constructing upcycled furtniture from salvaged timber, playing the mandolin, lomo photography, as well as outdoor sports and travel. Despite enjoying her job greatly, it sadly leaves little time for passions and activities, as Tina tries to catch the grains of sand as they fall.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


The below piece symbolises Johanna's love of creativity. As a fashion design student, she loves to work with her hands, always thinking about ideas and spinning them in her mind.  We depicted her love of geometry, abstraction, dreaming and the movement of the body/and life, inspired greatly by her love of the figures and fast lines of Schiele and Klimt.

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Silent World

After visiting our 'A Thousand Fibres' London Exhibition last summer, Norwegian Simen contacted us for a tattoo. He provided us with two lines from a Kipling poem which served as was the foreword to one of the two books his father gave him as a child that sparked his interest in sharks.
As a hyperactive and fearless youngster, one of Simen's favourite activities was free diving.  The books 'Great shark stories' by Ron and Valerie Taylor and 'The Silent World' by Jacques Cousteau magnified his underwater love. It was here he found the Kipling poem, which, having never felt fear before (which Simen claims is due to his ADHD), truly fascinated him.

But thy hands are loosed and weak, and the blood has left thy cheek—        15
  It is Fear, O Little Hunter, it is Fear!