Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Bring The Paint

There was so much to see at the weekend that it took me two days; Bank Holiday Monday I was a husk. 

Leicester’s Bring The Paint festival is organised biennially by Izzy Hoskins and Anthony Overend of Graffwerk (2026 for the next one then) and their paint shop GraffHQ. It’s a phenomenal achievement that shows what can be done when a community pulls together; an abandoned mill that’s’s become a hub of artistic energy and collaboration.

Clusters of artworks are to be found throughout the city so you can visit Leicester and gorge on it all year round. But some are not forever, so make it a summer trip if you can, park up and be sure to scoff down something from Bitsy’s Emporium before you start out via the canal towpath, which itself is alive with colour and humour.

The whole thing revitalised my slightly jaded, tired artist’s mind and reminded me how fortunate I am to live in the area, and to have so many generous and creative people that I call friends — it reminded where I’ve always felt the most comfortable, my whole professional life having never felt like I properly fitted into any one of of the creative cliques or circles — always loitering a bit on the edges of several, where they overlap. Social media’s exhausting, the commercial landscape is exhausting, and Bring The Paint was like a large cup of strong tea with a fat nutritious meal, followed by a hearty nap. 

Artists include: 
Inkie / Kid Acne / Philth / Voyder / N4T4 / Soles / Aches / Ertjwe
Mono / Idle / Smug / Triple / Vamp / Zomby / Epic / Drax / Aper
but for a full list you need to pick up one of the chartreuse-coloured maps they made for the event.

(My own contribution to the first ever Bring The Paint, in 2017, is at the bottom - I managed to get a little space right by the canal and HQ and I had about a day to plan what I was going to be doing!)

Large and fulsome photo dump to follow, because enough words.


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