Art / St Werburghs

St Werburgh’s billboard showcases art not ads

By martin booth, Monday Feb 26, 2018

Billboards are often a blight on Bristol, but there is one space in St Werburgh’s which brightens up the day of passers-by rather than persuading them to buy the latest gizmo.

Next to St Werburgh’s Food & Wine on the corner of Mina Road and York Street, the new artwork is a celebration of previous successful campaigns to remove corporate advertising from this area.

The pasted-up piece of art was designed by Matt Bonner in collaboration with the St Werburgh’s Neighbourhood Association and Adblock Bristol.

It marks the relaunch of the Burg Arts project in the neighbourhood, which will see Adblock Bristol working with artists throughout 2018 for new designs on the billboard.

Arriving at the billboard with a brush the other day to tidy up the area around it, Robbie Gillett from Adblock Bristol said that the reaction so far to the artwork has been overwhelmingly positive.

Robbie Gillett from AdBlock Bristol is one of the people behind the Burg Arts project

He said: “People are loving it. It’s a warm piece that celebrates the area. People have said it’s quite refreshing. And it’s really nice compared to the three corporate billboards just over the road.

“St Werburgh’s has a long and proud history of people in the community taking action.”

Robbie added: “When we walk down the street, we don’t want to be constantly bombarded with messages imploring us to buy stuff, saying that you are not successful if you’re not going on this new foreign holiday…

“We wanted to produce a piece that celebrates the green spaces, community spirit and things that matter to people in St Werbugh’s.

“With advertising companies pushing harder across the city for more billboards, especially digital displays, this project is about reclaiming public space for public good.”

The Burg Arts project will be working with local youth groups to co-create future pieces for the board. If you are an artist interested in contributing artwork, please email adblockbristol@gmail.com

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