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International artists flock to Leicester for celebration of street art

Published on 22 May 2017

SOME of the world’s most-acclaimed street artists will be arriving in Leicester today (22 May) to take part in the biggest celebration of outdoor art the city has ever seen.

Called ‘Bring the Paint’, the international street art festival will bring together more than 100 artists to collaborate on stunning works and large-scale murals that will transform drab concrete car parks, grey shutters and brick walls.

Visitors will be able to enjoy live music and the finest street food, while watching some of the best street artists in the world complete their works in the city’s Cultural Quarter on Saturday 27 May.

Artists hailing from Germany, The Netherlands, Slovakia and Australia will be amongst the top names transforming 17 enormous walls and 45 smaller sites.

London-based and Bristol-bred artist INKIE – one of the most prolific graffiti writers in the UK – is looking forward to starting work in Leicester.

“Having worked closely on See No Evil and Upfest in Bristol, City of Colours in Birmingham and Hit the North in Belfast, I am really excited to be part of Bring the Paint,” he said.

“This event will bring some of the world’s best street art to the Cultural Quarter in Leicester and it’s going to be one of the UK’s biggest arts events of 2017.”

Australian contemporary street artist SMUG – who works with spray cans to create large-scale pieces that look like photographs – added: “It’s awesome to see people working hard to put a street art event on in the UK – and the line-up looks amazing.” 

Other artists who have confirmed their involvement in Bring the Paint are:

2KOLD, 45RPM, AGIE, ALERT, ALEX RUBES, BATES, BOOGIE, CANTWO, CHIK, DEYS, DINER, DRAX, GENT, HOMBRE, KINOS, KOST, MONO, MR CENZ, N4T4, NEWSO, NOIR, OUST, PHILTH, RUELO, SOKEM, SOLO ONE, SPOE, VOYDER, WON ABC, ZINER and ZOMBY. 

Organisers expect there to be more than 60 new permanent pieces of artwork in the Cultural Quarter by the end of the event, including a large-scale design on the LCB Depot on Rutland Street.

Sean Carroll of the Cultural Quarter Association – which devised and developed Bring the Paint – said: “We want to deliver something incredibly ambitious for the city we love.

“We hope this festival will be a visual celebration of Leicester’s diverse culture and its thriving arts scene

“By bringing in some of the world’s best artists to work alongside home-grown talent, we hope to inspire and nurture a new generation of street artists.”

Bring the Paint is supported by Leicester City Council as part of its ongoing regeneration and promotion of the Cultural Quarter. City centre director Sarah Harrison said: “This is something new and exciting for Leicester which will attract many visitors and enhance the creative character of the area.

“We’re delighted to be involved and look forward to welcoming visitors to our city and encouraging them to explore and enjoy all that the Cultural Quarter has to offer.”

The Cultural Quarter will also play host to live music, pop-up exhibitions and free family activities on Saturday (27 May).

There will be skateboarding and BMX demonstrations in Orton Square, children’s graffiti workshops on the mezzanine floor at Curve, and a Bambino Disco for the little ones in the St George Street play area.

The team from Canteen will be bringing the UK’s best street food, cocktails, ales, DJ’s and entertainment to the Cultural Quarter on both Friday 26 and Saturday 27 May, while the LCB Depot courtyard will host an outdoor screening of the cult classic The Warriors when the sun goes down on Saturday.

Bring the Paint runs from 10am until late on Saturday 27 May.

Event guides are available from GraffHQ (entrance on Clarence Street).

For more information, visit www.bringthepaint.co.uk