Government have announced that it will be introducing street art / graffiti as part of its urban regeneration programme. The aim is to revitalize areas that require redevelopment and attempt to improve the physical appeal of building façades.
It is a popular form of public art probably best understood by seeing it in situ.
Gibraltar Cultural Services (GCS) on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Heritage and the Environment, have been tasked with overseeing the first part of this art project. Full details of the proposed initiative will be released soon. In order to kickstart the initiative, GCS is delighted to reveal that prolific street artist Ben Eine will be in Gibraltar this week. The art project will feature graffiti art being displayed on the façade of the Ince’s Hall theatre.
Ben Eine is notable for his alphabet lettering in shop shutters and walls in England, France and Sweden. Before being involved in commercial graffiti, Eine was a very famous and highly credible writer in the underground London graffiti scene. Inspired by the work of fashion, Eine first started to explore more commercial avenues and produced a number of custom clothing designs notably some custom "VANDALS" sweatshirts and started to explore screen prints, eventually working as a screen printer for cult screen print company Pictures On Walls. Eine produced many of the hand pulled prints for artists represented by POW, including Banksy, Jamie Hewlett, Mode2, Modern
Toss and David Shrigley. His natural talent for colour combinations meant that he was able to enhance the work supplied by the artists.
Eine first came to prominence in the "commercial" graffiti scene through his symbiotic partnership with London graffiti artist Banksy; through Eine, Banksy was able to access the underground scene and through Banksy Eine accessed the commercial world. In his commercial work, he has produced numerous lettering styles including: shutter, circus, neon, elton, vandalism and wendy. Eine continues to produce canvasses and screen prints from his studio in Hastings and aims to travel the world painting his colourful letters and statements on shutters and walls wherever he can.
The Minister for Heritage and the Environment, Dr John Cortes MP, who has responsibility for Urban Renewal, said:
"Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is committed to revitalising Gibraltar and improving various areas that are currently in need of renewal. This urban regeneration initiative will serve to enhance this programme and will add a new dimension to our urban landscape, bringing together culture and heritage.’
Commenting on the announcement, the Minister for Culture, Steven Linares MP said:
"I am very proud that our Culture team working alongside other Government departments, namely, Environment, Heritage and Town Planning are putting in place policy and procedures that will promote street art as part of our local cultural environment. The Gibraltar Government is fully committed to creating these street art initiatives in order to support its urban renewal plan. I am delighted that Ben Eine will be in Gibraltar to kick start this initiative.’
Government says it hopes to be able to announce further projects for the creation of street murals by local artists very soon.