Bristol will further cement its position on the global graffiti scene with a weekend-long series of events, to include the UK premiere of Saving Banksy this month.
The Arnolfini takes centre stage for the etchings-inspired programme put together by Bristol-based independent art platform The Future Tense, to coincide with the launch of Lonely Planet’s latest gift book, aptly named Street Art.
From Bedminster’s Upfest to the back streets of Stokes Croft, Bristol’s dynamic art scene earned it a place in the publication, alongside 42 other cities from around the world, and a series of activities, including tours, talks and book signings will be taking place to celebrate this fact.
The main event kicks off on Friday, April 14, when the Arnolfini auditorium will host the UK premiere of Saving Banksy, complete with an exclusive introduction and question and answer session with director Colin Day.
The documentary – recipient of a New York Times Critics’ Pick – explores some of the more intriguing aspects of the street art scene and broader art world to a backdrop of the work of anonymous Bristol-born artist, Banksy.
Saturday, April 15, brings a programme of street art tours, live painting and a book signing in the Arnolfini bookshop at 5pm, all topped off with a second screening of the film in the evening.
The Saturday screening will also feature a live panel talk moderated by Hector Campbell, featuring director Colin Day, internationally renowned street artists and co-stars of the film, Ben Eine and Blek le Rat, and Lonely Planet Street Art author Ed Bartlett.
Described as the ‘father of stencil graffiti’, Blek le Rat began by painting rats on the streets of Paris in the early 1980s, leading Banksy to famously quip ‘every time I think I’ve painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier.’
This will be the French artist’s first visit to the city of Bristol.
Ben Eine has painted his unique typographic letterforms in locations all over the world and, in 2010, his work was famously gifted to President Obama by then prime minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha.
Following the screening and discussions, the party will continue into the night with DJs and a late bar.
Ed Bartlett, founder of The Future Tense said: “Street art is by nature an ephemeral thing, so the book really represents a unique global snapshot of the scene as it exists today.
“Bristol has always been an important city for both graffiti and street art, so it’s very fitting to do the launch here with Arnolfini.”
Tickets for the Saving Banksy screenings are on sale exclusively via Arnolfini’s website and box office.
Read more: Banksy on Film