So it all started with this picture, brought into 3Mile in about week two of our opening:
I pretended to the man who brought it in, who I’d not met, that I needed to check with the team before we hung it - despite it being beautifully on brand colour wise, breathtakingly awesome and inspiring like nothing I’d seen before - I was stupidly nervous it’s drama wouldn’t suit the community. And two minutes later I ran out to his car, told him I’d called them and we would LOVE to hang it. I hadn’t called them of course, I just came to my senses and practically ripped it out of his hands and hugged him. And that’s how Martin Doyle and I met.
We celebrated hanging his picture via our Facebook page, and two days later it was sold. So Martin brought another. And it sold. And then another - and I bought it before it could sell - and another. Etc.
Most of Carterton knows that Martin can be found at Regent58 now and then, and because of my husband’s love of good ale and random conversations I was finding myself there more and more. So one night, blame it on the session ale, I said ‘when we’ve finished the renovations in the back room, please paint a wall, I can’t bear the idea of hanging more of your art only to see it leave’. He may or may not have said OK. But I took it as a yes and this happened next:
Martin asked me - do you have an idea of what you want? Fair question. I had no useful answer, so just asked him to evolve it - like all great ideas, see what the environment gave him, what the community could contribute and just that it be bold - like we want to be at 3Mile.
And then came almost three weeks of work. Coworkers got to watch as the mural evolved, and more than that, found themselves named on the wall (Carly!) and included in the imagery.
Martin has written a full statement about the finished piece - and you MUST read it. In it he outlines the complexity represented, the unpredictability, challenge, endeavour, resourcefulness, cooperativeness, and humour of human life.
“The whole artwork is an image of mental creativity, very messy in itself in a very messy world. Other natural processes of change are indicated in the mural eg evolution of fish and other morphing figures. Despite the huge amount of imagery and verbiage on display, I have tried to create a sense of a theatrical orchestration of elements. It’s a coarse circus of ambition and action, purportedly culminating in a victorious final lift-off on wings of smiling bananas. What a way to end! But the painting effectively asks, “Is it the end? Or is everything we’ve been through, all that’s shown, just the beginning?”.
I personally love that the mural also makes use of physical elements on the wall or beside it, including a figure reaching towards a high, inaccessible power point (thanks to the sparkie for not moving it, once it was included in the mural!) and a piece of electrical wiring as part of a painted umbrella handle.
It’s an honour to have the work ‘hanging’ in 3Mile, and there couldn’t be a better way to bring the new collaboration and meeting space to life. I hope we can help the world notice Martin’s amazing work by featuring it (I don’t think any pictures of workshops in that area could be taken without a little piece of the mural sneaking in! and our Wairarapa Times-Age ran a feature on the work)
- and hey, I guess 3Mile is in Carterton to stay, we’re not leaving this art behind!
>>>Check out Carly Webber’s beautiful photo diary of the mural being made here.
And come to see the work at our open-2-view on Friday 7th December, 5pm. RSVP here.