Late in 2017 veteran Irish bar owners Malones bought Edinburgh institution Diane’s Pool Hall near Haymarket station. After decades of running the legendary pool hall Diane decided to retire, leaving the much loved two-storey corner space open to new opportunities. On a personal note, I’ve been playing pool in Diane’s for more than twenty years and really loved the place, and so I was sorry to see it go. But I was delighted to receive the call from Malones and to help make this new incarnation a really special place was the best thing I could do.
Amongst a number of zones that Malones needed me to transform, the main staircase was one of the priorities. It needed to be Irish-themed but Malones were keen to avoid worn-out stereotypes like leprechauns and shamrocks. We decided to produce a large scale ‘Father Ted’ mural; a television series that I love and that is universally popular throughout the UK.
I arrived on site in early January 2018 and as it was still a building site in full flow, I had to work a night shift throughout the month as the staircase was the main thoroughfare on the site. So to avoid getting in the way of the dozens of joiners, plumbers and electricians who constantly needed access up and down the stairs, I frequently turned up at around 6pm and worked till 5am.
I covered lots of the most famous scenes from the show, including Dougal learns about ‘this is small / these are far away’, the Eurovision Song Contest entry ‘My lovely horse’, Kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse, and the priests getting trapped in the lingerie department. I also included large scale portraits of fan favourites Mrs Doyle and Father Jack; all this and plenty of smaller details that would keep the most committed of fans happy.
We garnered a lot of press for this project - apparently it has become the talk of Ireland and is now a must-see location for our Irish visitors!