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Notts Property Graffiti Festival

1 August 12 words: Alison Emm

"We’ve got a rich graffiti history here; we want to bring that back"

The explosion of street artists in the eighties. The In Living Colour crew in the nineties. Popx and his masterpiece Stop Wars. Oxygen Thieves, Switch Studios and Dilk continuing to shake things up this century, Nottingham has a graffiti heritage that has more than held its own. And this August, it’s having a coming-out party.

“Notts Property is about bringing people together. We’ve got a rich graffiti history here; we want to bring that back.” Says Boaster, one of the organisers of a new month-long celebration of spray upon street. “Graffiti isn’t just about bombing and ruining public and private property - there’s a lot more to it than that. That’s not what we do and it’s not what a lot of people do.”

Kicking off in early August with an outdoor event at the Hopkinson Vintage Centre where local, national and international graffiti artists will be painting the walls of the Hopkinson building, Notts Property will have a serious open-house feel to it, with food, music, a kids’ chalk wall and a serious mission to explain an art form that is still misunderstood on many levels. Over the rest of the month, over a hundred artists will be inhaling fumes for our benefit across eight venues. So why now?

“It’s nice to get everyone together painting, from Nottingham and from out of town as well” says Boaster. “Yeah, we’ve possibly picked the worst summer ever to do stuff outside, but most of us go out painting in the rain most weekends so it won’t be much stress for us.”

Highlights include James Huyton’s typography screen-print exhibition at Antenna on Friday 10, live drawing around Hockley on Saturday 11, and on the Forest at Nottingham Carnival on Saturday 18. Furthermore two graffiti jams are going off out of town in a hip-hop / Changing Rooms mash-up, repainting the walls of Russell’s Youth Centre in Sneinton and the beer garden wall of The Lion at Basford.

To be honest, the organisers of Notts Property – which consists of pretty much everyone local who knows the difference between Montana and Montana Gold – are piling on the events as we go to press, so make sure you link up them online. And if you or your business own a wall that looks a bit rank, and you like the idea of a spontaneous urban art happening taking place on your doorstep, they’d definitely like to hear from you.

As the man Boaster says; “Put your judgement to one side, come down, have a look and see what you think after you’ve seen what we do. It’s an art and it’s a live performance. You never capture the true feel of a piece until you’ve been in front of it and seen the size of it with all the details that are involved – that’s where the impact is.”

Notts Property, across Nottingham, from 4 August.

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