BIGOS UK - The Association of Polish Bloggers Living Abroad


Banksy and Polish Monumental Art

I have recently moved to Bristol so I am still discovering new pieces of street art but for this post, I have decided to mention something from the UK and something from Poland. Let’s start with my homeland, more precisely Gdansk. Gdansk is a port city in Poland hosting the most impressive Monumental Art collection I have ever seen. To see it you need to travel from the city centre by train to Zaspa (suburbs of Gdansk). Zaspa is basically an area of tall buildings dedicated to an occasional art take over. Here is how their homage explains the background of the project:

The Monumental Painting Collection in Gdansk is an integrated open air gallery consisting of 59 large format murals painted in the settlement of Zaspa. The collection integrates three other related activities: Monumental Art FestivalGdansk School of Mural and  Local Guides .

The first 10 pieces in the Collection were painted in 1997 during the festival organised to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Gdansk.

The idea was revived in 2009 with the Monumental Art Festival. The seven editions of the festival extended the collection  with 38 new pieces painted by renowned artists from all over the world.

In 2010, Gdansk School of Mural started contributing to the project. It is an initiative aimed at the integration and education of artists interested in monumental painting.

The last, but not least, the Collection is also the Local Guides group, made up of Zaspa residents, walking the tours through the Collection, present the history of the settlement, local legends and stories behind the creation of murals. The Zaspa settlement with its murals is a perfect base to get to know the recent history of Gdansk and Poland. The tours are free of charge. See Tours for more information.

I had an opportunity to visit it in 2015. It’s really difficult to explain just how stunning those murals actually are if you are standing in front of them. But also just how much fun it is to admire them from various angles. It took me an entire day to walk around the area and I am certain I have missed something. Below just a few of my favourites.

So fast forward to 2018 and back to the UK. Since summer I have been taking my time to discover the works of Banksy (British anonymous graffiti artist who started his work in Bristol) simply because I love the way the artists use the street as a canvas – just like Polish murals, his works contain statements (yes, of course) but also bring the art back to where it belongs: everybody! (At least in my humble opinion). So here are the pieces we have found so far – with a complimentary shoe selfie;)

We have decided not to rush and not to hunt for all the Bansky works in Bristol. We will take our time and just hope to bump into them all, one at a time. And I hope to visit Gdansk Zaspa again to see the new murals one day. I find street art really inspiring!

Do you like street art? Do you have local artists who stand out? Let us know!

Photos: © Sylwia Korsak

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