Reformatting Banksy

It was the bathroom project that would not end. In the length of time it took me to complete the work in this bathroom, away from the project I got pregnant, had a baby and returned to work. However, good work takes time, and this was the final flourish.

In case you have forgotten the regeneration of this bathroom from sticky pink to masculine grey involved Getting StartedPainting the Walls & Tiles and Adding Soft Furnishing and now in part four, I am adding back a little decoration to make this room less utilitarian.

For this project you will need

  • a poster of a familiar picture,
  • plastic frames (i used these from Ikea)
  • rules, set square, pencil and scissors

The idea is to rearrange a familiar image, the way a Rubik-cube is rearranged in the middle of a game. People viewing the mixed-up image will unconsciously try to rearrange it to make sense in their minds. There were toys like this in the 80’s/90’s called sliders.


I sought a familiar image that would fit my grey colour scheme and urban theme and found the Banksy picture of a maid sweeping dirt on a pathway underneath a wall.

Maid in progress

As the bathroom is a wet steamy place, the poster pieces will need to be encased in plastic, this is what the frames are for, and these are what will dictate the size the poster will be cut up into.

To decide how many frames I would need I laid them out on the wall, empty for the moment. I could of course measured the space, decided on the space between each, and calculated how many frames I needed, but this way leaves no room for mathematical errors.

The image I have works best if certain parts are whole, so for instance, I don’t want the maid’s face in two frames. To ensure this did not happen I laid out the frames on the poster and marked the layout.

Once the layout was established I measured the poster and laid out the grid using the ruler and set square. I then cut the poster into squares.

Each square was encased into a plastic frame which was then sealed with glue to help prevent the water getting in.

I then laid out the pattern of the image rearranged on the bed, to get a feel for how it would look.

I then stuck the frames to the wall. These hanging frames conveniently have a hole top and bottom so I choose to nail them to the wall, but you could use no more nails or something like that instead if you preferred.

And there you have it the final flourish in a bathroom project which is finally finished!

Maid in progress 2

Abandoned forest

Abandoned Forest

One of my favourite marketing images is when the beautiful girl wakes up on her bed in the middle of fairytale forest. I don’t care if you are selling fabric softener, cheap perfume or odor eaters – when this image is used I think the product is cool and I want it. Several bottles of fabric softener later I thought this might be a good theme for our bedroom.

I wanted to have that feeling when you are dosing between dreams, in the twilight of dawn or dusk, and in the half light paintings and surroundings can seem real. I wanted to add visual cues that could be seen from my pillow that would prompt my subconscious to bring me to an empty quiet forest. I wanted this room to be calm and minimalist. Back in reality, what this really meant was that I wanted trees, flying birds and great blank spaces. The colour inspiration came from a trio of paintings of a tree which I bought in Next years ago on sale, with nowhere to hang them, I bought them just because I liked them – this is the way to pick artwork for your home.

I started with the ocean of calm and painted all the walls white. Then on the only wall without a window or door I painted trees in a contrasting pallet of green, yellow and grey. I’m not a wonderful artist so I kept things simple. The trees I painted are bare and recently cut-back. Shorn and bare; minimalist and simple; no unnecessary flourishes.

Forest Trees

Then over the wardrobe in a contrasting lime green I painted a flock of geese in flight.

Flock of geese

On the door, I repeated the design of the trees and named the room.

Painted Door

To paint I obviously removed all furniture and furnishings from the room. I added back only what was necessary. No curtains, no bedside lockers, no ornamentation. This room was an experiment in minimalism. I allowed only what was needed to make it a bedroom. I put in the bed. I tacked a green valance to the underneath to hide any clutter or storage below. This valance was lime green to tie in with the colour scheme.

I tied fairy lights to the headboard to act instead of the reading lamps.

Reading Light fairy lights

I hung two antlers heads (which I got from Next, now out of stock I am afraid) either side of the headboard and hung two ‘shelves’ above them (which I got in Heatons, again now out of stock). These shelves measure 3cm x 10cm and are literally only big enough to hold glasses or a phone and a cup of tea.


The room has a built in wardrobe, and I converted the ensuite to a walk in wardrobe last year, so there was plenty of storage for both of our things. That was it. Minimalist. No clutter.

For a while that was all that was in the room. But we hit a snag. I had nowhere to put my makeup or brushes when I was getting ready. I started throwing it on the bed, but it wasn’t ideal. I crumbled and got a writing desk to act as a makeup table (from Oxfam, repainted). I felt because everything was contained within it, it conformed to my minimalist ideals.

dresserI also added a black leather chair (Ikea) for the clothes discarded before being re-hung or going to laundry.

Ikea tirup-swivel-armchair-black

That just left me with my trio of paintings of the tree. Somehow, even thought they were the inspiration, their store bought, manufactured format no longer suited the room. So I decided to cut them up and nail them over another store bought painting (Dunnes) I no longer liked, but liked the contrasting colour and movement in the Dunnes picture when compared to the Next trio.

trio 1

I unpicked the canvases of the trio from their frame. The way they were designed was to have the painting be duplicated so that the sides of the canvas were not blank (this style was very popular in Homewares in 2006ish). This meant the canvases over lapped and added to the visual confusion of this image. I cut all the canvases into inch wide stripes – getting a rough edge by tearing it with a knife.

trio 2

I discarded any duplicates that upset the image of the tree too much. I then nailed and pinned the torn canvases to the Dunnes picture. It gave me one painting, original and unique, but much better than I could paint myself.

trio 3

Wedding Rejection Letters

Landing Rejection Letters

One of the saddest things to see seep into a wedding is the shift from a celebration of love between two ordinary but intertwined souls to a wedding that is little more than a status symbol. Instead of a celebration of mutual adoration there is a pompous formality convened with the sole purpose of showing-off the wealth and standing of the couple.  When the boom went bust and flashing the cash was no longer the ‘done’ thing, people moved to other avenues of more subtly illustrating status. It was no longer their nearest and dearest that were the prize invitees, they were just the spectators, instead it became about the celebrity invitee – the Government Minister, who is a dear friend of the family, don’tchaknoow, or the National Sports Hero who turns out to be a distant cousin twice removed of one of the intended, or the girl from the telly who once went to school with the bride’s sister for two years in primary school.

So for our wedding, as we battled over the guest list, refusing to invite anyone we had not seen face-to-face in the last year, no matter how influential or important they were in the wider world (with the exception of my Australian relatives), it tickled our fancy to consider all the truly important and wonderful people in the world who would rather be anywhere else, doing anything else, other than attending our wedding (because what else is a wedding for other than to mock the traditions and attitudes others in your society hold dear).

As we considered the decorations for our reception area, we thought what better centre pieces could there be other than ten rejection letters from the most influential people on the planet. For us it served as a reminder to enjoy the day for what it was – a celebration at the merger of two corporate giants  families.

To relay any concerns that we may actually have written to these people and be on some sort of government watch list ourselves, we did not; these are fictional forgeries of what could have been.

Difficulty   of Project: Super   Easy
Overall   Cost of Project: Price of   printing (so practically free)
Frames   for finished product
(Ikea Nyttja frames – 10 pictures x e3 per frame= e30)
Required   for this project: Google
Microsoft   Paint
Microsoft   Word
Access   to colour printer
A4   Frames
Duration   of project: Few   hours spread over a few weeks

1. To start we selected ten international figures from the world stage that, if we were as influential the Beckhams, we would invite to our wedding.  They were:

  1. The Obamas,
  2. Beyonce & Jay-Z,
  3. Mr Kipling (maker of the exceedingly good biscuits),
  4. Kim Jong Il and his son, Kim Jong Un (because it’s good to get rarely seen celebs at your party, plus he invented the desk – how cool is that!?),
  5. Clowns without Boarders (a real organisation that go to war-torn areas and do clown gags),
  6. Stephen Hawkins (a hero of ours),
  7. Will and Kate (because who knows, it’s not like they would be traveling that far),
  8. Agatha Christy (because I just love her, even though I know her arrival at our wedding would have signalled that zombie were amongst us) and
  9. Vladimir Putin (because it’s always good to have a villain)

2. Then we used their websites and google images to find images we could use to make our interpretation of their headed paper.

3. We wrote the letters we think we would have received from these people, adding funny footnotes, to reward those who really looked at them closely.

   1. The Obamas

Dear John & Cathy,

Thank you for your polite invitation, but given the terms of the restraining order, I feel it would be inappropriate for us to join you on your big day.

Hope all goes well for you guys,

Barack Obama – President of USA



Pursuant to federal law all government-produced materials appearing in this letter may not apply to the same value of truth as would normally be expected. The United States Government hold the right to interpret the value of truth by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.

2. Beyonce & Jay-Z,

Dear John & Cathy,

On behalf of Ms Knowles I would like to thank you for your very thoughtful invitation. However given that neither Beyonce nor Jay-Z have ever heard of you, they will not be joining you on your big day. I have enclosed an autographed picture as a consolation.

All the best for the future.

pp Taffy-Y

Sony Music Entertainment, Beyonce Management Team



This is an official letter from the Beyonce Management Team. Any mocking of the letter shall be interpreted as a mocking of Beyonce herself and will not be tolerated. Any views of opinion expresses within this letter do not necessarily represent the views of either the artist, Sony Entertainment, the artist’s Management Team, the person who sent the letter or the post men and women who delivered it. Please have a nice day.

3. Mr Kipling

Dearest John & Cathy,

How did you get this address??

Hoping you have an exceedingly good day,

Mr Kipling

4a. Kim Jong Il

Pathetic Infidels,


Submission of Form 58-74 책에, signalling your desire to have Supreme Leader of North Korea, His Excellency,Kim Jong-il, Party Centre; Superior Person; Dear, Respected, Wise, Brilliant, Unique, Great, Peerless Leader, who is a perfect incarnation of the appearance that a leader should have; Commander-in-Chief; Father of the People; Sun of the Communist Future; Shining Star of Paektu Mountain; Guiding Sun Ray; Leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces; Guarantee of the Fatherland’s Unification; Symbol of the Fatherland’s Unification; Fate of the Nation; Beloved Father; Leader of the Party, the country, and the Army; Great Leader of our Party and of our Nation; Beloved and Respected General, and Leader; Ever-Victorious, Iron-Willed Commander; Sun of Socialism; Sun of the Nation; The Great Sun of Life; World Leader of The 21st Century; Great Bright Sun of the 21st Century; Amazing politician; Glorious General, who Descended From Heaven; Supreme Leader of the Nation; Bright Sun of Juche; Leader of the Party and the People; Great Marshal; Invincible and Ever-triumphant General; Beloved and Respected Father; Guiding Star of the 21st Century; Great Man, Who Is a Man of Deeds; Great Defender; Savoir; Mastermind of the Revolution; Highest Incarnation of the Revolutionary Comradely Love join you on Juche 101, 28th July has been rejected.


Retribution for the insolence shown by your submission shall follow.

Inmin Gun

Korean People’s Army


4b. and his son, Kim Jong Un

Dear Friends,

I have thought of you often since our time in Bern, and your invitation (although much interfered with and I think nibbled by our giant rabbits) drew me back to a carefree time in my life. However since my succession to my rightful place as Supreme Leader of the Universe, I no longer acknowledge the existence of the outside world, or the ghosts which reside therein.

Also, it may be of interest for you to note, that since your invitation to my father was received only days before his death, it has been viewed as a successful attack by the West on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. I am told plans for suitable retribution are underway.

Wishing you all the best in your married life.

 Kim Jong-un

5. Clowns without Boarders

Dear Sir/Madame,

Your communication was received 23rd June, 2012.

It is government policy not to negotiate with terrorists.

With violent radicals of any flag, there shall be no talks at any level. There is no foolish delusion that an argument can make peace. We do not engage, and we will not engage.

Release the clowns or the circus will have its retribution. Your reception will not be saved from frivolity.

Kind Regards,

President Barnes



Code of the Clown: The objective of this code is to provide a series of written guidelines of ethics for all clowns and artists who collaborate with Clowns Without Borders: The clown or collaborating artist will hold as fundamental objectives to better the situation of children who live in crisis situations of whatever type (conflict, natural disaster, social inequalities, etc.) in whatever part of the world. The main beneficiaries of CWB projects are children living in situations of crisis and the clown or collaborating artist will make no distinction between them for reasons of race, age, religion, culture, social situation or any other categorization when offering his/her work. For clowns and collaborating artists participating in CWB projects, volunteerism is the general rule. In respect to the clown/artist’s public image, he/she will not use the participation in humanitarian activities as a means to promote their professional career, separating clearly at all times such activities and not using his humanitarian work for publicity purposes or to promote his/her professional career, such as it may be.


6. Stephen Hawkins

Dear Sir / Madam,

Unfortunately Professor Hawking is unable to respond to specific scientific enquiries, academic theories, requests for voicemail service, party appearances or nuptial initiations. Please do not email these as although they may be valid, we simply do not have the resources to comment on them.

Kind Regards,

Judith Croasdell
PA to Stephen Hawking CH, CBE, FRS



I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive: we’ve created life in our own image. Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change, although it is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value. It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years. The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired. I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road. There are grounds for cautious optimism that we may now be near the end of the search for the ultimate laws of nature. To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit. We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.

7. Will and Kate

Dear John & Cathy,

Despite the current campaign to make the House of Windsor appear more human and familiar to peasants such as yourselves, the fact remains that William and Catherine are not your friends, and therefore will not be attending your wedding.

We in the press-office however never turn down a good party – see you there!

pp. Persil Whayenstooth



simply a better class of person

8. Agatha Christy

Your Reference: Inappropriate Invitation

Our Reference: Crackpot Timewasters


Dear Mr Clarke & Ms Gibbons,

The insensitive nature of your invitation is matched only by its audacity.

Don’t save a seat or expect a gift.

Please see invoice for this letter attached.


Jonathan Heartingsberg III

The Estate of Agatha Christy



Well, now dears, a marriage indeed. Yes, now. You see, I knew very well that something was afoot, what with all the fuss and whatnot, but I could not see it clearly what the thing was until the invitation arrived. My suspicions began when Miss Codswad slipped from the pier. I had been there myself earlier and had not found it unsafe, and given the calm seas could not see how it would become so. No. No, what happened was that Mrs Fidleton pushed Miss Codswad from the pier, when the two were out walking, hoping to disguise it in some way when Miss Codswad came from the water. She did not intend to kill her, just to somehow injure her, to prevent her from dancing at the wedding with Mr Flanderspoon, who would then have to ask another, leaving Miss Codswad in the company of Mr Fidleton Jr. Beauty can be as dangerous as wealth, much coveted and often inspiring the most dangerous of all: jealousy, and a mother does not like to see her son so distressed. Unfortunately Mrs Fidleton did not know that Miss Codswad suffered from Roxtoxiphobia, and when she reached the water the fear consumed her and she drowned. In a fit of panic, when Mrs Fidleton realised what was happening she herself jumped from the pier, which is when you happened upon the scene Inspector. Mrs Fidleton was not helping Miss Codswad because she loved her, but rather because she loved herself. Yes. Reminds me of the Brother’s Wife in Saint Mary Meade. Sad sort really. Hum  

9. Vladimir Putin

Dear Mr Clarke & Ms Gibbons,

Given that the date of your union has long been prophesied as being the day hell will freeze over and the world will end, I will be busy putting my affairs in order on that date.

Thank you for the early notification of the impending doom.

Yours Sincerely,

Vladimir Putin

Premier of Russia


All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia.

Were they a success?

Well we thought they were hilarious, and actually have them displayed in our landing. Some relatives were concerned that we would end up on some sort of watch list even if they were just forgeries. Others just didn’t get it – they didn’t understand why you would want to brag about people not wanting to come to your wedding. Others still talk about them to this day – as being one of the funniest parts of our slightly crazy wedding.


a)      The Obamas,

W House

b)      Beyonce & Jay-Z


c)       Mr Kipling


d)      Kim Jong Il and his son

 Kim Jong-ilKim Jong-Un

e)      Clowns without Boarders


f)       Stephen Hawkins


g)      Will and Kate

royalh)      Agatha Christy

marplei)        Vladimir Putin