It's An African Art SafariJuxtapoz // Sunday, 10 Oct 2010
Wide Open Walls is an exciting street art project designed to put The Gambia on the map as a fascinating destination for art and cultural visitors. The concept is that eight artists of international reputation, led by renowned street artist, Eelus, will paint the village of Kubuneh, part of the existing Ballabu Conservation Project.
The artists will travel daily by boat from their camp at Mandina Lodge in the Makasutu Culture Forest to the village of Kubuneh. From there they will work to transform the village into a giant open air arts project as they paint large murals and smaller works in and around the village as well as holding arts based workshops with children from the village.
The artists involved are Eelus (UK), Broken Crow (USA), Lucy McLauchlan (UK), Mysterious Al (UK), Logan Hicks (USA), Xenz (UK), Bushdwellers (Gambia) and Eine (UK) who recently caught the media's attention after David Cameron bought one of his paintings as a gift to President Barrack Obama.
The project aims to aid the effort to eliminate poverty through sustainable tourism and has the full support of both The Gambia Tourism Authority and the village elders. The organisers hope to continue the project on a yearly basis, working with artists of international repute and allowing them to create permanent art installations over time in the 14 villages of the Ballabu to hopefully help The Gambia become a destination of special interest. The Eden Project, introducing its Gardens for Life scheme to The Gambia, is also an active supporter of both the Ballabu Conservation Project and ‘Wide Open Walls’.
Lawrence Williams, the organiser and project participant as part of his Gambian street art collective 'Bushdwellers', is one of two founders of the Makasutu Culture Forest, around 1750 acres of forest now protected from deforestation and also part of a much larger project also set up by Lawrence and his Uncle, James English, which is the Ballabu Conservation Project. Ballabu is an 85 square kilometre area which incorporates 14 villages and 100,000 people and was set up to try and eliminate poverty through sustainable tourism.
Eelus is a graphic artist working from the UK both on walls and on other mediums such as canvas, metal and wood. Since his relatively short time within the street art scene, he has gained huge recognition with his beautiful and often haunting images.
Wide Open Walls
Kubuneh Village – The Gambia
12tht- 26thth October 2010
Organised by Lawrence Williams
Curated by Eelus