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FAMOUS SALFORD GASWORKS IN WORLDWIDE BRANDALISM FEST
 

Star date: 21st July 2012

EWAN MCCOLL'S GASWORKS IN DIRTY OLD EARTH PROTEST

`I found my love by the gasworks croft/Dreamed a dream by the old canal…'

The Liverpool Street gasworks made famous in Ewan McColl's Salford anthem, Dirty Old Town, were at the centre of a country wide `brandalism' subvertising campaign this week, as international guerrilla artists took over advertising hoardings with their own messages.

A hoarding on the wall of the gasworks was subverted by artist Polyp with an image called Earth Candle showing a melting earth, referencing the impact of advertising and the environment. 

Full story with more brandalism here…


Brandalism Brandalism Brandalism
Brandalism Brandalism Brandalism
Brandalism Brandalism Brandalism
click image to enlarge

This week saw the world's first collaborative 'subvertising' campaign on outdoor billboards across the UK, as twenty six top artists challenged the destructive impacts of the advertising industry. Thirty five sites in cities across the UK, including Manchester, Bristol, Leeds and London, were hit by guerrilla artists in a show called Brandalism - The Art of Self Defence.

Here in Salford, a wall hoarding at the site of the Liverpool Street gasworks, made famous in Ewan McColl's Dirty Old Town, was subverted with an ironic artistic comment on energy consumption and its affects on the planet.

The image, by an artist called Polyp and called Earth Candle, shows a polluting oil rig, with its flame melting the earth.

"The gasworks was a well chosen site as the artwork is about endless economic growth and how corporate interests are burning the planet, wrecking the eco system and contributing to climate change" Robert Graysford, one of the artwork installers told the Salford Star

"The project as a whole is about drawing attention to multiple social ills with advertising and consumerism and the resulting use of the earth's resources" he added "The advertising industry takes no responsibility for the messages they force-feed us every day. They claim to give us choice but we have no choice to 'opt out' from these intrusions into our public and personal spaces."

Street artists including Ron English, Robert Montgomery, Broken Fingaz, Know Hope and Banksy collaborator Paul Insect contributed art works which were timed to be displayed just before the London 2012 Olympics and commented on a range of social issues including debt, the environment, body image, consumerism, cultural values and last summer's riots. The Salford and Manchester hoardings followed on from a top piece of subvertising in January by the Manchester Climate Action Group (see here). Brandalism is the artist's revenge on (m)Ad Men…

"We're lab rats for ad execs who exploit our fears and insecurities through consumerism" said Robert Graysford "I'm a human being, not a consumer. So by taking these billboards, we are taking these spaces back. If Sao Paolo in Brazil can ban all outdoor advertising, so can we".

* The Salford Star went back to the site of Earth Candle today, only to find it had been replaced, ironically, by a car advert…

To see all the artworks in Brandalism - The Art of Self Defence, beginning with Polyp's images click here and then click on the individual artists

For more details on Brandalism see http://brandalism.org.uk/

Andrew wrote
at 12:18:41 on 09 February 2016
“Ewan McColl's Dirty Old Town, was subverted with an ironic artistic comment on energy consumption and its affects on the planet.” That’s really radical, Comrade Joe. Did he design that in some Manchester flat, kept warm and cosy by the gas fire?
 
Irwell Running Through Me wrote
at 20:24:59 on 29 July 2012
What a brilliant and inspiring attempt to make a difference. I love this and hope it long continues. I recall last year seeing a fantastic slogan on Facebook, talking about the way Facebook uses us as advertising fodder to the tune of billions each year - it said: If you are not the consumer, you are the product. That made a lot of sense. In so many ways we are sold to advertisers, as they then sell to us via the internet. Keep up the good work Brandalism!! You give me hope :)
 
caroline wrote
at 22:00:12 on 21 July 2012
My Uncles went down the mines with bread an dripping...also Working in gas works was just as much hell... for love an duty for family an all etc...But you all wish to have heat ,light , etc so lets come up with away without pain...Artist..are asking so HEAR THEM.....bindloss
 
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