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Local street artists set to exhibit alongside Banksy

Published: 01 December 2011

Local artists are set to exhibit their work alongside some of the biggest names in street art including Banksy in the Ulster Museum from next week.

Ahead of the opening of Street Art, a touring exhibition from London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum on 9 December, four local street artists have been specially selected to create art as part of the Ulster Museum’s Tags not Labels exhibition.

The Tags Not Labels exhibition showcases Belfast’s local street art talent through large gallery installations, while the growing diversity of art in Belfast’s urban landscape is captured through photography.

One of the local artists featured is Marian Noone aka ‘Friz’, a Belfast based street artist who works in both traditional and digital mediums. She is part of the SPOOM Collective, a group of artists who frequently collaborate on large scale murals.

Friz, originally from Sligo, was also recently commissioned by MTV to provide artwork for one of the after show parties being held in Belfast after the European Music Awards.

She said: “I'm delighted to have received the commission from the Ulster Museum. It's a fantastic opportunity to be exhibiting in such a prestigious gallery.

“I studied classical animation in college and it's heavily influenced my individual style. My work usually features strong female characters and I get a lot of inspiration from 'retro' styles.

“When I moved to Belfast three years ago I took part in the Urban Arts Academy class in street art. It was my gateway into transferring my paintings onto a larger scale than I'd previously worked in before and it meant my artwork reached a wider audience.

“I've found people I've painted with are so open to sharing their knowledge and techniques and there's great culture of collaboration.”

Kim Mawhinney, Head of Art, at National Museums Northern Ireland said, “Tags not Labels showcases some of our finest and most vibrant local street artists. We have selected work from artists we believe the public will be excited to see in our galleries for the first time.”

“We were amazed at the quality of the submissions for the exhibition and had a difficult time making our selection.

“It’s unlike anything we have offered our visitors before and we hope it will attract lots of interest especially from our younger audiences.”

Following a call for entries, a panel including representatives from National Museums Northern Ireland and Adam Turkington, from Seedhead Arts, selected the winning artists to exhibit in Tags not Labels. Other selected artists are ‘KVLR’, ‘Lucas’ and ‘Doc’ all from Belfast.

Adam Turkington said: “It’s fantastic to have these international artists exhibiting in Belfast and we’re delighted that the museum has also chosen to acknowledge the exciting talent that we have on our doorstep.

“Street art takes very specific local issues, social tensions and architecture and places them within the context of a global movement.  It’s brilliant that the museum has chosen to give our best young artists a platform alongside the international show.

“Street art has its roots in marking territory, ideological, geographic or artistic, and this exhibition will certainly leave its mark on the museum and everyone who visits.”

Both Street Art and Tags Not Labels at the Ulster Museum open to the public on Friday 9 December. Admission is free.  

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