Thursday, 7 June 2012

The signs of an Irish Banksy- published in the Irish World 02/06/2012
By Leah Quinn

An Irish artist is giving Banksy a run for his money lately with some rogue artistry of his own.

TUD (The Ugly Duckling), as he likes to be known, has left his mark in various locations around Ireland and the UK over the past year and is starting to cause more than a stir among passers by.

It was his work in London that first established him as a Banksy rival in the eye of the media.

A large sign which could have caused royal scandal featured a hooded parka wearing Prince Harry spraying the name Banksy onto a wall – alluding to the suggestion of Banksy’s true identity.

The controversial image was accompanied by what seems to be his manifesto - I'll so offend, to make offence a skill, redeeming time when men think least I will.”

As always the creator of this sign left his initials at the bottom- TUD.

When The Irish World asked about his London masterpiece he responded: “My English campaign was an eye opener, I posed as a representative of the arts council, local council or local university looking for an advertising space or to promote an end of year show.“

His latest piece of work appeared only two weeks ago alongside Dublin’s M50 motorway featuring pictures of patrons in public toilets accompanied by the lines “Did you really think Dublin airport don’t have cameras here? TUD.”

The same appeared near Heathrow in a similar version.

This particular unique piece of artistry naturally caused more discomfort than his previous signs, which up until now had been witty jabs at NAMA, cheating husbands, and last year’s presidential election.  

Naturally this ignited a flurry of public disgust, particularly in Ireland, as a mention on Ray Darcy’s popular Today FM radio show seemed to amplify the reaction.

This is the second time both airports have been involved in TUD’s artistic tom- foolery as signs stating -“Golf is a passport for a dirty weekend away with the lads. Wake up ladies…a na├»ve wife. TUD.”- were also posted nearby at the start of the year.

TUD, who refuses to disclose his real identity, told the Irish World that his work is merely meant to entertain rather then offend: “If I can distract people for just a mili second and take their minds off fiscal policy and ratification stability treaties then I’m happy.”

The nocturnal artist, says he is living on Pot Noodles in order to fund his creative side but is nonetheless busy planning his next campaign and its location.

He also promises that the best is yet to come now that he has bought a studio in which to create his work.

We are also warned to keep an eye out NEAR New York’s Museum of Modern Art as he hopes to have his first exhibition there in November: “Then I can reveal myself to the world. Paint, canvas and bronze don't come cheap, avoiding security guards and police take they're toll, but ill keep everyone updated on Facebook.”

Battersea singers get all Jaz'ed up
Published on SWLondoner 07/06/2012
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Battersea soulman Jaz Ellington is giving other aspiring singers hope for their future careers through his appearance on BBC’s The Voice.
The former singing teacher, who made a shock exit from the semi-final of the hit TV show, looks set to continue belting out the tunes with the help of mentor
The father-to-be left the American superstar in tears when he first appeared on the show with his rendition of John Legend’s Ordinary People.
Although the final curtain has fallen on his time on The Voice, his friendship with has already blossomed into a musical collaboration since he left the show, proving that we have not seen the last of his vocal talents.
American singer/songwriter recently tweeted: “this is just the beginning for our work together in the near future... Let's take this to outer space :)”
Former colleagues and students are also inspired by Jaz’s voice and success.
A community orientated gospel singing group, where the 27-year-old taught and wrote songs for five years, is attracting many South-West Londoners to their uplifting workshops at the Wandsworth’s Professional Centre.
Rachel Thomas, producer at and former colleague of Jaz, said: “Jaz has been a regular singer and songwriter with the team - co-writing numerous songs that have been taught to thousands of children over the years in schools across the capital.
“He is a fabulous singer and also talented songwriter and fantastic tutor. We have always known that all Jaz needed was the opportunity to show the world his talents for him to go places - the talent and star quality he has in abundance!”
The former Battersea music teacher has certainly come a long way from his days in the classroom but when we spoke to him he was keen to offer his former students and local singing enthusiasts a piece of inspiring advice: “ Don’t let nothing hold you down…reach for the sky and live your dream.”
The igospel adult choir in Wandsworth rehearses at the Professional Centre in Tooting during term time on Thursdays, 6.00 - 7.30pm. 
To take part contact Ashley Redman, Life Long Learning Co-ordinator at the Professional Centre on 020 8871 8627.
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