For the UK launch of the Lonely Planet Street Art book, The Future Tense partnered with renowned Bristol contemporary art institution Arnolfini to program ARNOLFINI x THE FUTURE TENSE – a series of themed events across Easter weekend, including the UK Premiere of the documentary ‘Saving Banksy’
Bristol – home of legendary street artist Banksy – is one of 42 key international cities included in the book thanks to its dynamic street art scene.
As part of the launch, Arnolfini’s auditorium hosted the UK premiere of the ‘Saving Banksy’ documentary – recipient of a New York Times Critics’ Pick award – including an introduction and live QA with director, Colin Day. A second showing included a talk panel featuring several of the key protagonists from the film, including Ben Eine and Blek le Rat, as well as Street Art author Ed Bartlett and the Godfather of Bristol graffiti, John Nation.
ARNOLFINI x THE FUTURE TENSE included a book signing, and live public painting with Ben Eine, Blek le Rat, Sickboy, Kid Crayon, Deamze and Silent Hobo, sponsored by Montana Cans.
The event marked the first visit to the city by Blek le Rat – known to be a key influence on the work of Banksy – and hundreds of fans gathered to watch him paint and sign copies of the book. A lucky few even went home with a stencilled cover.
Ben Eine also left a gift for the city by way of a semi-permanent mural outside Arnolfini. Using his trademark large-scale letterforms, the artist left the cryptic message ‘ALONE’. This could be a nod to Arnolfini’s original move to it’s dockside location in 1975, or perhaps a reference to the extremities of wealth and homelessness in the city, or even a play on words relating to Lonely Planet. As always with his work, it’s left open to interpretation.
*Alongside Lonely Planet ‘Street Art’ author Ed Bartlett, Hector organised the film screenings, live painting event and moderated the Premiere Q&A with ‘Saving Banksy’ director Colin Day as well as the Saturday panel discussion with Ed Bartlett, Ben Eine, John Nation, Colin Day and Blek le Rat*