So back in the summer, i was contacted by a guy called Steve who was writing a book on Banksy in Bristol, as, for various reasons, my name had reached him as someone who had a story to tell on the subject. Turns out he didn’t realise how much of a story i had to tell on it, so we ended up having quite a chat about things Banksy, Bristol and graf.
A few weeks later, told some friends who were quite skeptical of this book project what I’d done, and they said “as long as you didn’t say too much, no one will think the less of you for it”. Immediate panic, did i say too much? Well, not read it yet, should be picking up my free copy in a couple of hours or so, so still dunno, but hoping i didn’t, and anyway, like this blog, for me it’s about recording history. Like my approach on this blog, I didn’t say anything i was told in confidence, and think what i said was of use. Judging by the people whose stories were picked out to preview the book in last week’s Venue magazine, i have a hunch the things i knew came in very useful indeed.
But that’s just context. I’ve just stepped out of the first part of the book launch to get some food, and thought would ‘liveblog’ this part of the event at least.
So, pitched up the the Arnolfini in Bristol around 6pm, pretty much no-one bar the author and a guy serving wine were there. Said hello to both…
Eventually a goodly number of people started turning up, and was a really interesting mix. The first there were the ‘art crowd’, generally much older, better dressed, more moneyed and oddly incongrous at an event about Banksy. Next along were the trendy young set, the young blokes with bad beards and charity shop blazers, joined by the girls with kooky haircuts. Art students would be my stereotype, and more power to them, many people start that way.
But after a while the room became quietly dotted with people i didn’t know, but would guess are proper graf artists. Dressed like proper skaters, all slightly bleary eyed from a nocturnal /stoned existence, and looking edgily at the crowd in the room in a way that mirrored my feelings exactly.
Part two of the night is yet to come, but here are some snaps of the first part. Apologies for the poor picture quality, didn’t want to use flash in the context, so a little blurrier than this blog generally hopes to achieve.
Shot of the room, book author included
Another shot of the room, your average free party crowd hiding out of shot…
This cracked me up, seems the Park Street Banksy is now part of the standard Bristol tourist postcard offering. “They’re selling hippie wigs in Woolworth’s man…”
This was almost more comedy though, bet everyone in the room tonight had a story like this. The irony that may have been missed though is that i don’t think there ever was a show in Easton that sold Banksy prints from a set of five, so even the author was as clueless as the people who he or she was mocking.
Part two to follow soon…