Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Banksy vs Bristol Museum

Banksy Versus Bristol Museum
Picture courtesy artofthestate

Bristol Museum has long been one of my favourite spots in the city (which is no longer my adopted home *sob*) but it's always been pretty quiet in there, and while I loved having the exhibits to myself I was always a bit sad that more people didn't go and see all the fantastic pictures and artefacts the museum had. Now though, thanks to one of Bristol's most famous sons, that has all changed!

Erected entirely in secret, only one of the museum curators knew what was happening, ever since word got out about the exhibition there have been queues round the corner and right up the road to see Banksy vs Bristol Museum.

Naturally I had to check it out before I left Bristol and I was not disappointed. It had all of Banksy's traditional graffiti elements (anthorpomorphic animals? Riot Police having fun? More thought provoking slogans than you can shake an aerosol can at?) that I'm used to seeing around Bristol, but it is also a really great way to make the museum more accessible to non museum goers.

For a start entry is completely free, which helps a lot! But on top of that all the usual rules of museumship were relaxed. You could wander round in whatever order you want, taking photos was absolutely fine, and there was stuff you could touch too!

My absolute favourite bit though, was where they had interspersed Banksy's art around the museum, subtly enough that you could almost walk right past it, except out of the corner of your eye you'd realise that Mary, Joseph and Jesus didn't fly to Egypt on Easyjet, and there probably shouldan't be a gift shop in that Constable...

Picture courtesy goatgirl74

The one complaint one of my friends had was that it destroyed some of Banksy's mystery, and some of his credibility to go from a secretive graffiti artist to one quite at home in an Edwardian City Council run museum. While I agree Banksy may not be as subversive now as he once was, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Anything that means I get to see a teenage 'youfs' in baggy sweatpants and oversized bling say to another 'nah mate, we haven't been to nineteenth centurey art yet, innit?' cannot be a bad thing!

Banksy vs Bristol Museum is on daily until August 31st from 10am-5pm.

For an idea of what to expect check out these flickr pools.


Becky C. said...

I love Bristol - best city in the south-west, no question! Thanks for this, I'll be sure to check it out very soon. :)

sherin said...

I love Banksy. He is so talented. Lol about the teenage 'youfs'.

Amelia said...

Strangely and coincidentally, I was just reading about this exhibit this morning. Would love to head over to Bristol for the day so I could check this out.