A brush with death

Last Thursday, my colleague popped over from Ireland. Jim works from his home in County Clare, and his visits to the UK are infrequent, so it was a good excuse for lunch. We held a team meeting in a pub in the middle of Abingdon, and drank ale and talked about old times.

Jim probably won’t mind me telling you that he bears an uncanny resemblance to Kenny Rogers – music, indeed, is one of his great passions and we’d often discuss the relative merits of Peter Case, Johnny Cash or Joy Division on the way to dinner in Oxford back when he was working and living in the UK. His other hobby is art – he paints and draws whenever the opportunity presents itself, and it was during a conversation last week that he reminded me of a project he’d been involved in a couple of years back in Ireland.

“Wallcandy street art project,” says the website, “has drawn together artists & designers with diverse skills to create pieces of art on walls and buildings around the town of Ennis. The aim of Wallcandy is to give artists the opportunity and freedom to conceive and create a piece of art that uses a particular site in an interesting and quirky way. The resulting artworks hope to engage, surprise and entertain viewers of all ages. All of the sites chosen have interesting or unusual features and, although some of the sites are a little run down or have deteriorated due to damage or neglect, they have been given an artistic twist that totally changes the way you see them.”

Why am I telling you this? Well, because I only just remembered what he did with the dingy wall near the Ennis grocer’s. Here it is.

After he’d worked his magic, it looked like this:

And here are the close-ups:

They may be seen in their original context here.

Sometimes I think some of us are wasted in our day jobs…

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