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.
Want to see each week’s artist as the 52 Artists Project unfolds? If you’re not already signed up, you can either subscribe to get email notifications (here in the sidebar) or sign up for updates via newsletter.