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Mystery ‘Banksy’ at Work in Dundonald

Mysterious street art in the signature style of Banksy, iconic urban artist and social activist, has been creating a stir in Dundonald and beyond.  The anonymous stencil graffiti is provoking much speculation across the province as to who the elusive artist might be.  The motif of a young girl, locally dubbed as ‘Daisy’, has been popping up around the Ballyregan Road area.  She sits cross legged in a meditative stance, as seen in Banksy’s original art work titled ‘Girl and bird’, and conveys the kind of innocence and whimsy that is distinctively Banksy.  In one image Daisy initially sits alone but is later joined by a boy offering her a lollipop.  In other variations a pug, a pigeon and daffodils have all featured as the focus point of Daisy’s contemplation.

Most people seem to believe it unlikely that the internationally renowned and England based Banksy is behind the appearance of Daisy.  Yet her location is no accident and it makes perfect sense that a ‘Banksy’ should emerge in the home of Dundonald Art Corridor which is a thriving hub for street art, community engagement and social activism.  Original Banksy notoriously uses art to critically examine contemporary political and social issues. When commenting on the status of art and its display he has referred to the urban art scene as a world in which art “belonged to the people”.  Surely the Dundonald Art Corridor is a wonderful embodiment of this.

Dundonald Art Corridor is a community arts project in which 800 locals pulled together to launch an impressive outdoor gallery just 100 days from its original conception.  It is an outdoor street gallery which receives no government funding but is thriving on the contribution of volunteers, donations and community spirit.  It is a place where art reaches deep into the community creating important connections.  A place where social partnerships are being forged, for example, with the art therapy department in the University of Ulster, local food bank, the Men’s Shed in Ballybeen and nearby schools to name just a few.  A place that showcases Northern Irish artists and offers a platform to young people and children.   A place that is fully accessible to anyone at any time, reviving the presence of ‘The Village’ in a busy urban environment.  From enthusiastic children decorating and hiding rocks around the urban village to the colourful murals and the uplifting galleries, the Dundonald Art Corridor offers a place where art truly belongs to the people.

Banksy once said, “Imagine… a city where everyone could draw whatever they liked.  Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases.  Where standing at a bus stop was never boring.  A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited.  Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – its wet”.  If you find yourself in the Dundonald Art Corridor you will find yourself in a street awash with colour, art and poetry.  You might even spot a ‘Banksy’ or two.  And you might want to think twice about leaning against the wall.  It could be wet.

       

Check out Dundonald Art Corridor’s Instagram page to keep tracking the work of the mysterious local ‘Banksy’.

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