I came across this fabulous collaboration between Andy Council and Acer One quite by accident while they were painting it. I was actually seeking out another Upfest 75×75 piece on West Street and drove through this road on a bit of a cut- through. Andy Council was chatting with some people, but I did manage to meet Acer One for the first time, and of course, he was a great guy happy to stop for a while and talk about his work and a host of other things.
The whole piece is difficult to photograph, because the wall is long and there is car parking along the whole length. All the elements are interwoven with both artist’s work. The blue-green creatures are by Andy Council and the block geometric writing by Acer One.
The writing spells out ‘CHALLENGE CORRUPTION’ which is becoming something of an anthem in out country at the moment. This conservative administration is, more than any before it, pushing rather sinister boundaries, most of which appear to be about securing power, rather than serving the people… sound familiar? Their latest wheeze is to drive through legislation to make it easier to jail journalists who write exposés criticising government and who won’t disclose their leak sources. Oh dear.
I was able to study Acer One’s technique close up, and it is blindingly obvious really. He uses a trapezoid board, about a metre long and about 15 cm wide, with a handle in the middle, to act as a mask and measure for his letters, helping create the uniformity and sharp, straight lines of his writing. Finding out how he paints his letters has at last put to rest my curiosity.
Andy Councils creature, stitched together in several places, is wrapped around the lettering and is made up of separate blocks which look like they could be connected to each other, a little bit like a child’s toy like LEGO. The colours are imperial and the entire collaboration is rather grand. These two have been smashing it this year and it is lovely that they have been rewarded with this long wall for Upfest 2021.