Mick Sheridan claims he’s ‘no artist’. I beg to differ.
He admits to being a furniture upholsterer (in rural Wales)… AND he enjoys an alter-ego as the ‘Guerrilla Upholsterer’. He secretly upholsters public seating areas that he thinks could be made more comfortable – from bus stop benches to bird watchers’ hides. And he wears a gorilla mask while doing it.
Here’s a video in which BBC News Magazine interviewed Mr Sheridan in November, 2013, where he tells how it all began:
I was passing a bus stop one day, and I saw this old lady …she was perched on this kind of tiny little metal, sloped, angled seat …and I just thought: that looks so undignified somehow. – Mick Sheridan
I love this! It’s fun, and it’s my kind of weird. Most of all it’s a story about human kindness. And recycling – he uses scraps from his upholstery shop to make the cushions and seats.
It also makes me think of how we – you and I and anyone who enjoys handwork – imbue our creations with a piece of ourselves. Sometimes it’s deep and heart-worthy. Other times it’s a light brushing-on of character.
Either way you are making a profound difference – whether you know it or not.
I contacted Mick about including him in the 52 Artists Project, told him he had inspired me to consider doing something similar in my neighborhood. I suggested he had ‘started a movement’. Delighted to oblige, he replied:
It’s always a surprise to me how much the guerrilla upholstery project seems to strike a chord with people and I’m always flattered by people’s positive comments. Please do feel free to take up the mantle there in the US, a guerrilla upholstery movement probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.
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