The Cans Festival

Although its now two years ago, I’m new to WordPress and feel it appropriate to share this here; I attended the Cans festival In 2008, it was an urban arts festival organized by the Legendary street artist Banksy. It was held in an abandoned tunnel on Leake Street, London, underneath Waterloo train station.

The Poster used to advertise the event is Typical Banksy, but slightly different to what we are used to seeing by him, I love everything about it from the bucking, disguised cowgirl concept to the use of splash pink on black and white to the Helvetica Caps text. The meaning of the image simply saying- give it a go.

I photographed many great pieces of art when I visited it but as is typical with urban art, most peices didn’t last long and the competition was rife. It did anger me when I re- visited the tunnel months later to see most of the pieces, some by Banksy himself had been over painted with lesser quality images- gone were the hilarious political statements, clever sarcastic images and risque slogans. I did get to photograph some of the original art thankfully. the tunnel was once a tramp ridden, piss stinking, no go area and now it has been maintained and continually used by Banksy for various occations, having been recently converted into a cinema to show Banksy’s film ‘Exit through the gift shop’ (brilliant title).

I have a had a long appreciation of Banksy’s work but in recent times it has become too well known here in London for it to be classed as shocking and cutting edge urban art. A friend bought me a book which shows all the locations of Banksy london art, so one day I trecked all over London with my camera on my own in search of these urban treasures, I’m sorry to say hardly any remain, there are traces of some of the Rats along the southbank but apart from a few faint others that was it!

I love what he has recently done in America and hope he continues to thrive on picking at the system with his synical, sarcastic genius. What a dude!


About High Velocity Trifle

My friends call me Sammy Lee but I was born Lee Tomlinson, I play drums in loads of bands and have done since I was 12, music is an obsession of mine, I try to balance it with my other love which is design; digital / hand drawn illustration / photography / video... I love to be creative and get excited when I see other peoples clever use of imagery, whether it be a piece of graffiti, a billboard, a magazine advertisement, brand logo design, an original/against the grain adornment of style, not to mention a well executed shamrock in the head of a pint of Guinness... What? Music and design share many similarities and as a working musician and design degree student I intend on creating work that depicts this as I try to establish myself as a graphic designer. I studied graphic design at ND level after leaving school and since then I have concentrated my efforts on playing music- this has been frustrating to say the least but also given me some incredible moments to cherish- I have some road stories and varied success with a few artists. The music industry leaves you with a very sour, synthetic taste after a while... Kinda like Sambuca but less flammable, but I was fortunate to record in many of London's legendary studio's and play in some great venues. After nearly ten years of sacrificing a decent wage (and occupation) playing music full time, I now want to focus more on my design work and put more of my artistic energy into this area/platform from which to be creative. There will always be critics and confidence breakers in every creative field but at least with creative design you don't have to deal with LSD (lead singer disease) ego platforms, dodgy promoters, touring up and down the country with hairy smelly wannabe rock stars and lugging instruments too and fro setting up only to find out the total attendance at that particular gig is the bar staff and the support band... I don't agree with that in the workplace!
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