They went to sea in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they went to sea: In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day, In a Sieve they went to sea!
below: The artist, Jola Kudela, aka Yola, at work on “They Went to Sea” on Cleveland Street in Doncaster. The mural was part of Doncaster’s ArtBomb22 an experimental arts festival.
“The poem speaks about a group of Jumblies who went on a journey to discover the world in the least suitable vessel, a sieve. It’s a story of a group of people who abandon the old status quo in search of something new. It can be interpreted as a metaphor for the migration movements around the world in pursuit of a better life.” — YOLA
below: The finished mural. It was painted with the help of the Yorkshire-based creative production team Art of Protest Projects, led by Jeff Clark and Tom Jackson.
Accompanying the mural is a video, a short film with the same title, “They Went to Sea” (link) that is available online. In addition, a QR code on the mural triggers the video which features the dance company Fertile Ground in a performance choreographed by Malgosia Dzierzon.
below: A still from the video. Dancers move in a symbolic sea to music composed by Julia Kent as Edward Lear’s poem is recited. The words become part of the music which in turn echos the waves and the movement of the water.
Financial support was provided by the Polish Cultural Institute.
The pictures used in this blog post were taken by Jeff Clark and were sent to me by the mural artist, Jola Kudela.
Edward Lear’s “The Jumblies”
They went to sea in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they went to sea: In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day, In a Sieve they went to sea! And when the Sieve turned round and round, And every one cried, ‘You’ll all be drowned!’ They called aloud, ‘Our Sieve ain’t big, But we don’t care a button! we don’t care a fig! In a Sieve we’ll go to sea!’ Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
They sailed away in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they sailed so fast, With only a beautiful pea-green veil Tied with a riband by way of a sail, To a small tobacco-pipe mast; And every one said, who saw them go, ‘O won’t they be soon upset, you know! For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long, And happen what may, it’s extremely wrong In a Sieve to sail so fast!’ Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
The water it soon came in, it did, The water it soon came in; So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet In a pinky paper all folded neat, And they fastened it down with a pin. And they passed the night in a crockery-jar, And each of them said, ‘How wise we are! Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long, Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong, While round in our Sieve we spin!’ Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
And all night long they sailed away; And when the sun went down, They whistled and warbled a moony song To the echoing sound of a coppery gong, In the shade of the mountains brown. ‘O Timballo! How happy we are, When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar, And all night long in the moonlight pale, We sail away with a pea-green sail, In the shade of the mountains brown!’ Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
They sailed to the Western Sea, they did, To a land all covered with trees, And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart, And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart, And a hive of silvery Bees. And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws, And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws, And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree, And no end of Stilton Cheese. Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
And in twenty years they all came back, In twenty years or more, And every one said, ‘How tall they’ve grown!’ For they’ve been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone, And the hills of the Chankly Bore; And they drank their health, and gave them a feast Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast; And everyone said, ‘If we only live, We too will go to sea in a Sieve, To the hills of the Chankly Bore!’ Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
Rock star status lightning bolt – a now iconic symbol painted on David Bowie’s face for the “Aladdin Sane” album cover in 1973. Here, Banksy Incwel applies the lightning bolt to a younger Queen Elizabeth in a piece titled “Still Sane”- bestowing her with rock star status? It was painted in 2012, the year of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee (i.e. her 60th year as monarch).
Alex Lucas & Paul Fearnside are the two artists that are Lucas Antics. Among their many talents is mural painting; this blog post features some of the murals that they have painted in their home town of Bristol. The photos are from the spring of 2017.
below: Pineapples and bunnies on The Little Shop, Cheltenham Road.
below: The whole mural.
below: More rabbits at the Stokes Croft Vintage Market
below: A red fox, comfortably sitting on the new moon.
below: A dashing dandy lion in the doorway with his sidekick, a little white mouse. The fable of the lion and the mouse has been told in many variations over the centuries. In it, a lion spares the life of a mouse. A short time later the mouse saves the lion by chewing through the ropes of a net that has ensnared the lion.
below: Welcome to Montpelier (a neighbourhood in Bristol)
The next three images are from the same mural, Uncertain World, painted on the exterior of the Cabot Institute at Bristol University.
The Bearpit is a park in Bristol, circular in shape and with roads surrounding it; It’s like being in the middle of a large roundabout and in fact it is the St. James Barton Roundabout. All entrances are by underground passage.
It is in an area that is the historical center of the city. After being badly damaged by aerial bombing raids during WW2 , not much was done with it until the late 1960s when new roads and office blocks were built. The bearpit was designed as a pedestrian friendly area, a city park but soon became a place where no one felt safe. In 2011 it was voted the worst place in Bristol . Over the years a number of groups tried to clean up the park and make it a welcoming place for people – with mixed success.
In May of 2017 when I was there it was a place to hang out. It was also a place for political protest.
May 2017 was in the midst of campaigning for the the UK General Election of 8 June 2017. Theresa May (Conservative) was Prime Minister. May had became PM after David Cameron resigned because of the Brexit vote. Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party. The Conservatives won the election with 317 seats although Labour was close behind. Like most elections, this one can’t be summarized in a few sentences but if you are interested in more details, there are lots of places to look on the internet.
below: A large Corbyn rat poster by political art John D’Oh with the slogan/phrase “Make June the end of May”.
below: Mural by Kid Crayon of Eat Crew. Just above the mural you can see part of the black and white bear sculpture/statue that used to stand in the park.
In 2019 the Bearpit was “cleaned up” i.e. all the graffiti and street art was removed as were the squatters. A quick check of the area on Google Street View shows that as of March 2021 the park was still graffiti free.
below: Another Aspire bird, a robin on a tree branch. Beside it is an orange telephone box by D7606 (instagram)
below: Bite the hand that feeds you. Someone is missing an arm!… it looks like it might by Ronald McDonald’s arm?
below: The ice cream in the cone is looking horrified as the teeth and beak of a yellow bird-like creature hovers above him. There is also an owl that was painted by Dscreet (Australian). The words between the bottom two windows say Burning C which is a reference to Burning Candy Crew, the group that Dscreet once belonged to.
below: A panda finds a quiet corner under the street sign.
Hillgrove is a short street, two blocks long. It is dissected by Jamaica Street. On one corner is a large mural by Phlegm. A man looks through a telescope while sitting on the shoulders of a man who in turn is standing on stilts. One hand is holding the telescope while a bird on a rope is held by the other. A large red and white wave reminiscent of ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ by Katsushika Hokusai is the eye catching focus of the painting. It’s as if he’s looking to the future while standing on the shoulders of giants (masters).
below: A stenciled cat walks on the sidewalk…. the work of Beastie.
below: A natural woman of sorts – with plants, vines and roots and the bugs and butterflies that depend on them.
below: Ribcage and a pink ‘Grab This’ pussy with a gun. The latter is by Ben Rider (instagram)
below: Paint me a rainbow
below: A torn version of the picture above along with some other pasteups. Men in glasses, profanity pony wishes, and a more complicated poster with a hand, a skull, and other things. The words on this last one say ‘Office of the Medical Examiner, County of Cook’. Eyes dominate two of the posters – same artist?
below: She carries an awkward load on the left while the girl on the right is well armed and well prepared.
below: Mais Amor, por favor…. more love please. Another pasteup by donk.
below: Another donk piece – a pirate lying in a liquor bottle with another bottle in his hand.
below: I was in Bristol just before the British elections in the spring of 2017. There was quite a few anti-May/Tories and pro -Corbyn/Labour graffiti including this dinosaur themed one.
below: The Humble Magnificent with masked boy, a donk piece.
below: A creature waits outside number 42
below: mcln’s plague doctor character is in Bristol too. He’s drawn on a printed page and the words in that rectangle are ‘resist the temptation’.