My wife was a little late for work a couple of weeks ago, so I gave her a lift in the car. Our route takes us onto St Michael’s hill, and I glanced (as I always do when passing by) down a little alleyway favoured by John D’oh and by total luck he was there spraying a new stencil. Of course, after dropping my wife off, I made a bee-line for the alley way and stopped for a quick chat with John D’oh. As always it was a genuine pleasure to catch up, and great to see the artist at work. While we were talking, a bird pooped on one of the freshly painted faces… the perils of being a street artist!
The piece is a fantastic awareness work that talks about mental health, in particular depression and anxiety, a topic that resonates for me and my family, and I expect for a great many people in today’s troubled landscape. The words on the stencil piece read:
“Pretending you’re okay is easier than having to explain to anyone why you’re not.
Mental health – don’t suffer in silence
Depression is when you don’t really care about anything, anxiety is when you care too much about everything, and having both is just like hell.”
I believe this to be one of John Doh’s finest pieces. The topic aside (a massively important one), he presents four stunning colourful stencils perfectly and seamlessly joined and topped and tailed with a banner and footer. The whole thing is expertly produced and beautifully proportioned.
The stylised comic-book characters are cleverly selected to be both eye-catching and, to a degree, nostalgic. It was interesting to see that John D’oh brought elements of this piece to his collage of pieces for Upfest this year – the joy of stencil art.
I drove past the spot this morning, on a repeat wife-lift scenario, and saw that he has added another piece to his expanding gallery, so I’ll have to pop up there for another photo session soon. Utterly fabulous work from John D’oh.