Personal Best: Micah Purnell
The Finger – This piece is site specific, created to sit comfortably amongst club advertising posters, intended to redeem advertising space.
“If I could hire all the advertising space in Great Britain, print and digital, I’d fill them with one of two things: white space or a picture of clear blue sky with a cloud the size of your hand. The work intentionally has no link, logo or signature to avoid any assumption that it exists to sell.
“I was challenged to produce a piece of work on the controversial quote by Christian icon Jesus the Christ. It’s a great image of counter-culture, which probably stands in all my works. The present order of things says to retaliate; don’t get me wrong, I love a good revenge film, but I couldn’t live like that in reality. I love this quote by the late US humourist Josh Billings, ‘There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.’ It echoes the idea that you cause more strife to the one who curses by being kind whilst challenging any bitterness in oneself. You’ve got to admit, that’s a bit funny?
“For me the copy is core. While much of my work is graphic illustration to be appreciated at reaching distance, the medium here, the size and location of the posters, taught me to consider distance and scale with regards to how information can receive the most impact from across the street. I can’t say I know where the amalgamation of text and image came from, just one of those light bulb moments.
“Outside the Quaker building in Manchester is a small advertising board, which holds inspirational quotes. I love that there are never any pictures the words create the image. I guess my work is a kick against the twee religious image based literature and quote cards I’ve seen, coupled with the Quaker style advertising.
“I live in a great city.”
Info: Micah Purnell lives and works in Manchester. In three years his 22 fly poster designs, flyers, postcards and mini posters have popped up in the city of Manchester in shops, transient poster sites and distribution packs. An exhibition of his posters, Design The Future, takes place at 8 Stevenson Square, Manchester between Thu 2 – Sat 4 June 2011.
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