Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement

Vanguard will address the movement's development from the subcultural perspective of one of the UK’s most diverse cities

Mr Jago at Best Kept Secret festival, 2012 © Ian Cox 2020

An extensive new exhibition celebrating the international street art movement is set to open at M Shed museum in Bristol this summer.

Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement celebrates the instrumental role of Bristol’s creatives in the development of British street art, with rare works by leading Bristolian, British and Irish artists of the genre, including seminal works from the late 90s. An additional focus on international artists beyond the UK will spotlight the growing relationship between art and sustainability. 

Seminal works from Henry Chalfant, Banksy and Beezer will feature, through to deep-fake viral sensation Bill Posters and Conor Harrington. A selection of the works on display have not previously been seen and some have not shown in public for over 20 years. Spotlight features will also include the work of artist, musician and activist Robert Del Naja (3D), Bristol’s earliest street artist.

Vanguard will address the development of the movement from the subcultural perspective of one of the UK’s most diverse and dynamic cities. From street art’s anarchist origins in the 80s and 90s, the explosion of works in the early 00s to ‘then and now’, a selection of Bristol artists’ stylistic development over the last three decades is explored.

The exhibition looks beyond Bristol to the United Kingdom and Ireland to reflect on the diversity of practice brought about by the momentum of the movement. Vanguard concludes with a spotlight on artists evolving globally from street art practices to affect meaningful change in the world.  

The exhibition is curated by a collective of artists, specialists and collectors involved with the global street art movement. The team is headed up by street art specialist Mary McCarthy, who has worked within this field for the past 20 years. 

Mary McCarthy says: “Vanguard celebrates the unique environment that Bristol provided and its role in generating some of the world’s most notable names in music and art. Considering the ongoing evolution of the global movement, we recognise the importance of the city as the birthplace of British street art.”

Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement runs at M Shed from 6 June – 1 November. Tickets are on sale now here.

Naila Scargill
About Naila Scargill 315 Articles
Naila Scargill is the publisher and editor of horror journal Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance.

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