15 second Video - Hannah Rose Graffiti Tribute
I've been out and about on the Streets of Sheffield for the best part of a year collecting photos for a book I'm working on. The book is on Graffiti and the artist's who are out there on a daily basis painting. Some of them consider themselves to be artist's, some vandals, others walk a fine line between the two! I've loved every minute photographing their work in places I'd never have ordinarily visited, but for me what has been really special has been the "welcome" these guys and girls (don't lets forget, its not just men who go out painting graffiti) have shown to a complete outsider. When I started this journey I didn't know a "Tag from a Production" and thought they were all super tidy individuals because they talked about "racking" their paint! I didn't wan't to produce just "another" Graffiti Book. A book full of beautiful pictures of beautiful pieces. I wanted to detail the entire spectrum of Graffiti found here in my home town of Sheffield, a city once dubbed the most Graffiti ridden place in europe. Not all Graffiti is pretty, at least not to the casual passer by and it intrigued me, exactly "who" these faceless artists that seemed to come and go without ever being seen, but leaving such a huge impact on their environment were! The last year has been a fabulous and intense journey for me, I've finally met, spoken and interviewed all my personal graffiti hero's. They all showed me immense kindness, gave me their time and allowed me to go out painting with them in order to try and understand just a small part of who they are. I've spoken about this project with a lot of people, professionals and personal friends and I always felt that the word "Graffiti" was a little tainted in many of their eyes. I think for my part I'd seen to many "East coast vs West coast" graffiti videos on Youtube So when my time came to finally meet these guys in person I expected a cross between Snoop Dogg, Sid Vicious and Van Gogh, so it was with a little trepidation that I invited them, one by one, into my studio to be interviewed - I think for the best part, most peoples idea of what a graffiti artist should look like is wrong (I don't think I encountered a single Hoody during 10 interviews) they're actually just like most of us, no chains, gold teeth or 45's! What I've really grown to like about the widespread Graffiti community is their kindness and enthusiasm towards people who show an interest in what they're doing. The amount of times I see passers by approach them (when they're painting on a legal spot in the middle of town) and ask what they're painting, how long does it take to get that good, as well as photograph them and their work, but it doesn't stop there, just this last week I got a message from MACE, an artist from one of Sheffield's finest crews H2i (here to impress) letting me know he, Pawski and Inksurgeon (also from H2i) and Gzos ( TIO - The international outlaws) were going to be painting a Tribute piece on the legal boards in the middle of town, for a young girl Hannah Rose, who lost her battle for life at just 5 weeks old. It's always a pleasure to hang out with these guys, they're a lot of fun to be with and incredible to watch them work, so I grabbed my camera and headed down to shoot some pics and a little video. I decided to use the video footage for a small tribute of my own and make a 15 second video and post it on the popular App Instagram (15 seconds is the longest duration you can post on Instagram) It's an interesting proposition trying to tell a story in 15 seconds, hopefully I managed, big thanks to all you guys who painted the piece and all the Sheffield artists out there painting and brightening up our grey city, thank You.