Nuart Festival

Painting, rather than planting pansies at the sites of homophobia was the natural solution when it became apparent that the appropriate pansies were not available in Stavanger at the time of the Nuart Festival. This new yet familiar response creates a different kind of work to a planting, the painting has the potential to last longer in the city, it has the capacity to settle into the fabric of the street in a different way to a plant that usually wilts and dies. The painting have a similar charm to the real flower and has the benefit of being read as art more immediately, possibly making The Pansy Project more accessible to wider audiences.

This experience challenged my artistic and painting abilities. I can already identify room for improvement and I’m looking forward to exploring new materials and methods. The video above reveals the meaning of each painting, I’m grateful to the Pride Stavanger team who shared their knowledge and stories to help me paint in the correct locations. I’m also incredibly grateful to the team at Nuart Festival. I’m curious to see if painted pansies can become embedded into The Pansy Project as my practice continues to evolve.

“The Tunnels” is an experimental film that lays on the border of documentation, critical review and video art. It is dedicated to “Brand New, You’re Retro” exhibition that took place at the former brewery tunnels (now Tou Scene Centre for Contemporary Arts) as a part of the Nuart Festival 2019.

“Brand New, You’re Retro” exhibition takes its cue from a 1995 track by Bristol artist and producer Tricky. The exhibition plays host to eleven visiting artists representing a variety of practices (such as independent public art, street art, muralism, public intervention, subvertising, graffiti etc.) with a common background – a movement that was based on DIY approach, experimentation, cultural appropriation, creativity with the focus on the streets.

“The Tunnels” aims to explore the deeper meanings and the context of the art created for the show. It uses the critical approach and analysis in relation to the history of the movement; as well as fragments of artists’ talks, excerpts from the news, interviews and curatorial text by Martyn Reed that were resampled and infused with the lyrics from the Tricky’s “Brand New, You’re Retro”. The lines from this track (voiced with computer-generated speech) now sound provisional in relation to the art created in the tunnels and symbolically highlight the legacy of Bristol’s underground scene of 90s.

This film is a journey; it is moving backward from the last 7th tunnel until the introductory Tunnel Zero in order to show the development of the movement with its modern variety of artistic practices and the parallels with the past.

Painting in Stavanger. Photo courtesy of Runa Andersen Photography“Jaevla Homo!” Kvitsøygata, Stavanger“Jævla Homo!” Colourful Street, Stavanger.

In other news, my contribution to the Nuart Journal can be found here, entitled “Tourist in the Daylight”, it’s a poetic telling of the origin of The Pansy Project and features many photographs taken at the sites of homophobia around the world.