Friday Street

In 2008, Tate Modern opened the world’s first major public museum display of graffiti and street art, inviting six international artists to decorate its facade with enormous, eye-catching murals.

Laptop SkinMeanwhile, just down the riverbank at Southwark crown court, eight members of London’s well-known DPM crew were tried for an estimated £1m in graffiti-related damages across the country, and sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison – the biggest prosecution for graffiti that the UK has ever seen.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act defines graffiti as “painting, writing, soiling, marking or other defacing by whatever means”. Anything from a quickly executed “tag” to a detailed mural could be deemed illegal, and the artist subject to a £5,000 fine or prosecution. Despite this clear-cut definition, there are double standards in the way graffiti is perceived, and the law creates pockets of permission for some artists while penalising others.

DrawString Bag

Ban it, legalise it or put it behind glass! No matter what city councils or the police do, graffiti remains the scapegoat for all manner of urban ills, from burglary on one extreme to gentrification on the other. There are, however a large majority of us who enjoy bringing the outside home, to decorate our own walls with artistry from the streets.

Presenting ‘Friday Street’notebook

‘Friday Street’ is a collection of urban art from the youth of Leicester. Friday Street is situated on a semi-abandoned Jitty close to the Centre of Leicester. The area has seen multiple arson attacks, gang violence and street robbery. Yet Friday Street itself is an entrance to a beautiful public park, which attracts thousands of visitors on a regular basis.

Legal or not, as graffiti seeps into the fabric of our neighbourhoods, it becomes a natural fact of everyday life, a cultural practice appreciated and legitimised by young urban dwellers.

This “gentrification graffiti” is representative of the cycle of transformation in cities across the world, whereby artists are caught up in contributing to their own displacement.

What might you discover on Friday Street? – Click here to find out!

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Photographs from Leicester Pride 2017

Leicester Pride is attended by more 10,000 people each year with more than 2,000 taking part in the parade through the city, starting at The Curve and ending at Victoria Park.  Leicester Pride celebrates equality and diversity in our community and is a family event with entertainment and attractions suitable for all ages.

Leicester Pride began in 2001 after being awarded a successful bid of £5000 to involve the lesbian and gay community in the production of a Leicester Pride Carnival, to involve the whole community in the carnival itself and to promote better understanding. It was supported by Arts Council England.

There had been major concerns that Pride 2017 which has grown to celebrate and promote the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the city and county, would have to be cancelled for due to a lack of funds.

Pride’s troubles were spotted in the media by a DMU student who involved the Student Union Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard.  #DMUlocal stepped in with £10,000 to help make a difference within the Leicester community.

Here’s some photographs of the day, can you pick yourself out?

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Vigil in Leicester for Manchester

Hundreds of people from all Leicester’s faith groups gathered in the city centre for a tearful but determined display of solidarity with Manchester last night.

Two days after the suicide bomb attack on young fans at an Ariana Grande concert, about 300 people stood together outside the Town Hall in Leicester, where the words “Leicester” and “Manchester” were drawn on the ground in chalk, united by a heart.

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Photography Exhibition: DISTORTED VISION

Distorted Vision Poster

 

Following from the successes of previous Exhibitions “The Eleventh Hour” and “Finding Focus” this year, Award in Photography Artists present: DISTORTED VISION.

Distorted Vision celebrates the final year of our collaborations together over three years as our qualifications are achieved and we are delighted to invite you to our exhibition which is held from 22nd to 26th June 2015 at The Old Library Café & Galleries, 54 Belvoir Street, Leicester, LE1 6QL (map).

The artist’s work on display contains a diverse range of photographic genres including portraiture, self-portraiture, street, documentary, still-life, conceptual, art photography, landscape and post-photography.  The artists also use a wide variety of techniques both in camera and by digital manipulation to produce the work.

Our teacher, Zoe Van-De-Velde has said “There was no intention to just teach students how to use their camera and to ask them to take the standard shots. Their work should, though their creative process be a reflection of them. By this method the students could, over the time of the course become themselves though their images and ultimately forget their tutor’s existence.”

Distorted Vision, presented by the Award in Photography Artists is a free entry, open exhibition featuring creative works by Doug Smith, Estelle Keeber, Gavin Whyman, Krupa Patel, Tom Robson and Zoe Van-De-Velde.

Of my own work, three titles shall be presented, “Left to our own devices”, “Road To Nowhere” and “ID²”

We do hope you are able to attend, should you live or work in this area.  Samples of my work can be seen at my portfolio: www.tomrobson.com.  If you have a project and feel my style is suitable for your needs, please contact me.  Selected artworks are available to purchase and I am available for hire.

Photography Exhibition: Finding Focus

Presenting, “Finding Focus” a photography exhibition” held between 20th June to 4th July 2014 at Flint Hall, Belvoir Street, Leicester.

The work is a celebration of the projects and achievements of the Award in Photography Artists as their qualifications are achieved.  The artist’s work on display contains a diverse range of photographic genres including portrait, self portrait, street, documentary, still life, conceptual, art photography and landscape. The artists also use a wide variety of techniques both in camera and through digital manipulation to produce the work.

 

This is My Suburb

Graffiti is sometimes recognised as a dirty form of street art, Indecipherable tags and secret codes are painted onto walls and most passers-by are immune to its messages.  Others are confused or angered by the visual intrusion into their daily commute.
Graffiti is seldom considered street art by many people, I don’t mind it, but I would not call graffiti, street art.  Perhaps because in my neighbourhood there is no street art, only graffiti.  The media centre on street artists, such as Robert Banks, or just Banksy. Banksy’s signature stencils of kissing coppers, flower-chucking terrorists and mischievous rats found on doorways and side streets have become so sought-after that they are being chipped out of walls and sold for ludicrous sums.  Like it or not, graffiti is part of our High Street.  It’s something we see daily, or share, or even participate in.
“This is My Suburb” is a quota of my neighbourhood, and counterpoints with the photographs taken for the “This is Our High Street” series. A set of photographs which display images of recession and decline from our High Street. they photographs highlight the bleakness of our economic downturn by presenting our decaying high street which we all share.
In my neighbourhood, there is no street art. No wonderfully inspired yet illegal murals or beautiful works art, spray painted by artists at after dusk. No political statements nor debates and no messages storming the traditional bastions of high culture.

These are simply photographs of tags and scribbles when collected together, demonstrates how our high street descends into the state of our neighbourhoods.

(This set exhibited at The Eleventh Hour Exhibition. The eight, original prints are available to purchase. Please contact me for information).

This is My Suburb 1, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 2, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 3, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 4, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 5, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 6, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb, 7 by Tom Robson This is My Suburb, 8 by Tom Robson

The Eleventh Hour Exhibition open now!

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The Eleventh Hour

I would like to present “The Eleventh Hour Exhibition” which is held between 6th June to 28th June 2013 at Flint Hall, Belvoir Street, Leicester.

The work is a celebration of the projects and achievements of the Award in Photography Artists as their qualifications are achieved and I am delighted to have attained the grade of distinction for my work.

The artist’s work on display contains a diverse range of photographic genres including portrait, self portrait, street, documentary, still life, conceptual, art photography and landscape. The artists also use a wide variety of techniques both in camera and through digital manipulation to produce the work.

Our teacher, Zoe Van-De-Velde has said “There was no intention to just teach students how to use their camera and to ask them to take the standard shots. Their work should, though their creative process be a reflection of them. By this method the students could, over the time of the course become themselves though their images and ultimately forget their tutor’s existence.”

The Eleventh Hour, presented by the Award in Photography Artists is a free entry, open exhibition featuring creative works by Glyn Farman, Andy Howe, Angela Jarvis, Estelle Keeber, Ann Samuel Till, Gavin Whyman, Anne Woodman and myself. The exhibition website is: www.11h.eu.  A book to accompany the Exhibition is available at Blurb.co.uk.

Zoe Van-De-Velde has said of my contribution: “Robson’s innate sense of how to create a conceptual piece has led him to experiment with weightier subjects such as Father which rearranges the Dylan Thomas villanelle Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night and uses old Polaroids set against a backdrop of a drunkenness and despair. In Yellow Walls, Robson explores depression and anxiety through a series of shots that give the viewer a feeling of claustrophobia”.

Unpublished works by myself, on display at the Exhibition include “This is My Suburb”*, The Ribbon, Man3 and Self Harm. (*Published after this post)

I do hope you are able to attend, should you live or work in this area. Samples of my work can be seen at my portfolio: www.tomrobson.com. If you have a project and feel my style is suitable for your needs, please contact me.  Selected artworks are available to purchase and I am available for hire.

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