An art gallery in Nottingham is exhibiting what’s left of an important Banksy mural as part of an installation. The work is on show in ‘The new I Is’ an exhibition at the New Art Exchange in Hyson Green. ‘The Afflicted Yard’ incorporates Banksy’s work Balloon Girl, and is included in a show celebrating 50 years of Jamaica’s independence. The Banksy was kept under wraps until the opening last Thursday.
The work was originally created by the Bristol born artist on a wall in Jamaica’s capital Kingston in 2004. Peter Dean Rickards purchased and removed the mural from the wall and shipped it to Nottingham. Mr Rickards, a Jamaican photographer, film-maker, writer and artist, has an apparent rivalry with Banksy. “Mr Rickards smashed the piece and defaced it, and a video of him removing the piece of wall plays on loop alongside the piece”. says local information site, This is Nottingham.
Art of this nature raises many questions about the validity of vandalism of other artists work. It seems to be an eerie trend these days to embelish or tag well known works, in order to create new art. It all started with Duchamp and that moustache on the Mona Lisa and has been rehashed by every subsequent generation of artist including, The Chapman’s defacement of etchings by Goya and more recently a Picasso tagged in Houston and a Rothko at Tate Modern, vandalised by the Polish artist Vladimir Umanets, founder of a movement he calls Yellowism.
A gallery spokesperson doesnt seem to mind and stated; “It’s so exciting to have it here. I’ve been waiting to tell people about it for weeks. It really is a big coup. It appeals to a different market and we are definitely hoping it will open the gallery up to hip-hop groups and graffiti artists – it will give us more national appeal. Getting big-name artists isn’t our aim, but it fits into the theme.”
Other pieces in the exhibition include; A barber’s chair and falling dominoes feature in part two of I Is AnOther – a New Art Exchange exhibition exploring issues surrounding contemporary notions of identity by celebrating Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. Through a presentation of the best contemporary talent in sculpture, painting, installation, film and video from across the diverse Jamaican diaspora, part two of I is AnOther shifts focus from addressing the impact of ancestral and historical influences on identity, as identified in part one; to the impact of an environment on a sense of self.
In September 2003 the New Art Exchange was formed as a new organisation to steer and manage the development of Nottingham’s first dedicated cultural facility for Black contemporary arts.
Photo: Batosz Kali