Case Study – Three Wise Monkeys

Always up for an adventure, I had spent a week in New York for my wife’s 30th Birthday soaking up the culture and admiring the vast array of street art and general creative buzz that thrives in the city. One night in the basement bar of Three Wise Monkeys enjoying a few beers we remembered being in a similar basement bar tucked away in NYC that was adorned in cool subway style graffiti. It had such a buzz about the place we thought it was worth approaching the pub owners to see if they wanted to make a mark on their space by brightening it up with a bit of bespoke creativity.

As the conversation went on, the top floor was being ear marked to fill the gap in Colchester for a live music hub and as music and art goes together hand in hand it seemed the perfect opportunity to give the space a unique identity.

We started by asking the staff what they wanted to include – a treehouse idea, skulls, a passion for Beavertown Gamma Ray beer artwork. Along came a a few hours with a huge sheet of paper, some brightly coloured pens and – Planet TWM was born.

Three Wise Monkeys are travelling though space and end up crash landing on a completely unknown planet. A totally different dimension, the walls depict the story of the monkeys pulling themselves from the wreckage before discovering the beautiful landscape and an ancient temple. There, they end up getting sucked into a totally psychedelic trip through a vortex before finally finding themselves in an amazing bar full of a crowd of buzzing people, cold beers and decent music.

Due to the scale of the project and the way in which the concept took form, I realised I needed to incorporate and embrace a new style into my work – graffiti. With the help of local artist @brewsup he taught me the basics and gave me some of his time and talent and worked with me with elements of the project. His personal style added a new dimension to the work and also hints to the New York art vibe which inspired me in the first place.

On a personal note, when I was halfway into the project when I was diagnosed with the Big C. I had to down tools and get myself sorted out, but thanks to the amazing NHS and family I have made a full recovery. It meant the project took a lot longer to complete but in a way it means a thousand times more than it would have done to me as its creation is part of my journey to recovery.

I hope that this space becomes the unique live music venue that Colchester has been missing for a while and I am so proud to have been part of its creation. I hope that in years to come people will still be talking about nights they have had in the space, maybe love stories that began or the first time they saw a band that started their own story.