How does a blank wall on the side of a multi storey car park get transformed in to a thing of great beauty in just three days? Well if it’s a wall that forms part of Gallery Headquarters then it happens when you combine the skills of local graffiti artist Ben Robertson, a large scaffold tower, a lot of spray paint and the fashion photography of Danny Evans. Ben talks us through his creative process and also the other work he is involved in here in Jersey and further afield.
I approached Gallery magazine to ask if they wanted their blank wall transformed into a piece street art. Once we’d agreed I had to come up with a contemporary design that fitted within its surroundings, related to shoppers using the nearby car park and had a connection with Gallery Magazine too. I looked back over old issues of the magazine and came across the image I finally used, which is taken from a Danny Evans fashion shoot for the April 2014, the Minnie Mouse dress worn by model Ellysia was found in a local charity shop and eventually auctioned off for charity (the theme of that months issue was Give). It’s such a striking image that it was a great place to start.
The wall I used is 25ft tall and 10ft wide, so the piece was produced with the help of a 20ft scaffold tower and a lot of spray paint. I drew a number of sketches before applying the final design to the wall, which I sprayed on as a base sketch in grey and then filled in with all of the colours you can see. I anticipated that the whole process would take me two days, but ended up being a full three day project. I spent half a day on the face alone to make sure it looked correct and in proportion, a line placed even a few millimetres out would have changed her look completely.
I’ve been spray painting for a year now, but have been practicing art for years. I am currently freelancing as an illustrator. My previous project was the highly popular ‘69 Halkett Place Pop Up Art Gallery’ and before that I was part of the Kartoon Factory.
The is my first piece of work in the centre of town and is by far my largest piece, vertically. I regularly paint with my crew ‘Inkramenal’ (IKM) at the two legal spots down at Le Geyt Football Cage and the Harbour Skatepark. We are trying to get more legal areas to paint as we are constantly having to paint over our work because of limited space.
I’ve painted at the Ministry of Sound London and Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel I also paint murals in businesses such as cafes, shops, peoples homes and gardens. I’m always looking for blank walls in Jersey, ones that can be transformed and made in to a point of interest for tourists, school children or anyone passing by.
We’ve a busy summer festival season ahead and you can see the IKM crew painting live at Reasons, Folklore, Jersey Live, Spice and Groove de Lecq. If you can’t make it to any of them then don’t forget you can see our work at Le Geyt of the Harbour Skatepark.