52 Artists #4: Mick Sheridan

Mick Sheridan claims he’s ‘no artist’. I beg to differ.

hand stitching wool polka dot upholstery

Upholsterer and Artist, Mick Sheridan makes waiting more fun

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.

gorilla waiting at bus stop

‘Gorillaly’ attired, upholsterer secretly furnishes bus stops with comfortable seating

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

chair with monster toy

Chair at a bus stop near Caio, Carmarthenshire – rescued from a ‘skip’ and covered in a 70s patchwork print, embellished with ‘an excellent monster thing’

excellent monster thing

Each chair is adorned with a small toy in fitting with a theme conceived according to its character

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.

cushions soften a bus stop bench

Bus Stop cushion at Llangadog – after a year the original cushion had become dirty and sun bleached so Mick thought he’d better replace it with a new one.

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.

Take the weight off your feet - www.msupholstery.blogspot.com

Each chair wears a tag with the invitation “Take the weight off your feet”

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.

Want to see each week’s artist as the 52 Artists Project unfolds? Sign up for updates via newsletter.

See what the ’52 Artists’ project is all about.

By | 2017-06-03T13:31:51+00:00 September 26th, 2014|design & inspiration|0 Comments

About the Author:

Making - Learning - Sharing. These are actions I find essential to a happy life! I'd love to hear from you - what are you creating in your life right now? How can I help?

Leave A Comment

Currently accepting U.S. orders - AK & HI shipments please contact us for special ordering instructions. Dismiss