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‘I’m going to cover the entire wall’ - Yarmouth’s ‘Banksy’ strikes again

PUBLISHED: 11:35 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:35 24 August 2020

The paintings have appeared on the blue Marina Centre hoardings along Great Yarmouth seafront, and have received a positive response so far. Photo: Colossal Youth

The paintings have appeared on the blue Marina Centre hoardings along Great Yarmouth seafront, and have received a positive response so far. Photo: Colossal Youth

Archant

A guerilla artist who has been dubbed Yarmouth’s ‘Banksy’ has revealed his intention to “cover the entire Marina Centre hoardings in artwork” after two more paintings were unveiled.

The paintings have appeared on the blue Marina Centre hoardings along Great Yarmouth seafront, and have received a positive response so far. Photo: Colossal YouthThe paintings have appeared on the blue Marina Centre hoardings along Great Yarmouth seafront, and have received a positive response so far. Photo: Colossal Youth

Between August 19-21, further stencils of an unnamed woman appeared on the blue hoardings near Dixie’s On the Beach in Great Yarmouth.

And now the artist himself has spoken to this newspaper, admitting he “won’t be stopping any time soon”.

Though refusing to disclose his true name, he performs under the ‘nom de guerre’ of Colossal Youth (C.Y).

A 58-year-old from Great Yarmouth, C.Y says he is not an “imitation Banksy” - but recognises that the street artist had undoubtable influence on him.

A third painting appeared at the end of last week. According to the artist, it will be one of many which will feature across the blue hoardings over the coming weeks - though not all will be of this one unnamed woman. Photo: Sarah BurgessA third painting appeared at the end of last week. According to the artist, it will be one of many which will feature across the blue hoardings over the coming weeks - though not all will be of this one unnamed woman. Photo: Sarah Burgess

He said: “The response from the first images has been positive, so I’ve decided to keep going and aim to cover the entire wall.

“I’m not going to tell anyone who I’m drawing up there - that will be for the viewer to work out for themselves.

“That’s the difference between myself and Banksy: his art is accessible and instantly recognisable, and the emotions he triggers are often obvious.

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“My work isn’t like that - I don’t want to give too much away. It’s designed to be enigmatic.

“I’m sure some people already know who she is - but she will mean something different to every one of us.”

On the topic of the paintings as “graffiti”, C.Y said these “were not acts of vandalism”.

He said: “Vandalism is an act of wilful destruction - about tagging your name on some hard-to-reach concrete wall. It’s supposed to be permanent and subversive.

“But my work is deliberately temporary - and I’d like to think tasteful. These hoardings won’t be here for long, and the rain and sun will cause the images to fade.

“That’s what I want. They’re meant to indicate the transience of human life - a fact which has become so much clearer to all of us during the pandemic.

“Besides, the first ever piece of recorded artwork was a piece of graffiti in a cave - that’s just how we as human beings leave our mark.”

C.Y, who leaves his own mark under the cover of darkness between midnight and 5am, has been applauded by nearby businesses.

One nearby cafe said they were “in awe” of the paintings - and that they brought “vibrancy” to a seafront currently blighted by construction work.


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