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International attention for Nelson urban art show

International attention for Nelson urban art show

Nelson’s Oi You! street art exhibition is gathering international acclaim well before the collection of works by Banksy and other renowned urban artists goes up in September.

Organiser George Shaw, the new Nelsonian who owns the collection of 23 works by the elusive Banksy that form the core of the show, has just announced the Best of World section of the show will now go on to Sydney’s Cockatoo Island as part of an urban art festival called Outpost Project (November 4 to 11 December).

George says the organisers agreed to delay their show by a month so they could include his collection.

“Cockatoo Island is home to the famous Sydney Biennale so it’s a more than a coup to have them want my collection,” he said. “It’s not just Banksy that has knocked their socks off – it’s also my works by Faile, Antony Micallef, David Choe, Adam Neate and Swoon.”

The Cockatoo Island website says visitors will experience the world's freshest art movement as leading local and international street artists transform the gritty, industrial spaces of the island in Sydney Harbour into an urban art festival called Outpost Project, Art from the Streets, an inaugural free event with large scale installations, exhibitions, live art moments, films, forums and education programs.

Meantime, there are two Aussies who just can’t wait to see George’s street art. George made contact with Sandra Powell and Andrew King of Melbourne after reading in ‘The Age’ about their switch from collecting conventional art to street art.

“They are so excited about my art collection that they are coming over this weekend to see it,” George reports.

Having sold their Australian paintings by acclaimed artists such as Sydney Nolan, Powell and King are preparing to step up their patronage of emerging Australian street artists by curating and paying for an exhibition of Australian street art in San Francisco in September.

Oi You! is a show of three parts, the best from around the world, the best from around the country – featuring an installation by Aucklands Cut Collective, and the best up-and-coming – featuring the top talent from the open and youth sections of the Oi You! street art competition.

The finalists in this have just been selected by top New York street art collective, Faile. George says they were very impressed with what they saw and found it tougher to judge than they had expected.

“They said they tried to find the people that had a style of their own and had some kind of idea or something to make the story a little larger," he says. “We have finalists from Whangarei to Dunedin with the Nelson youth section really well represented thanks to it being the second year we have run the competition here – the college art teachers have really caught on to how it can inspire their students.”

The Oi You! Street Art Competition had an open and youth section. The finalists are:

Megan Bowers-Vette – Whangarei (open)
Talisha Buckingham –Whangarei Girls’ High

Chris Lewis – Auckland (open)
Jordyn Wright – Auckland – Westlake Girls’ High

Azah Jae-Tee – Hamilton (open)
Leith McCloskey – Waikato – Forest View High

Hawkes Bay:
Pense One – Napier (open)

Mikaere Gardiner –New Plymouth (open)
Josh Manu – New Plymouth (open)

Matene Climie – Levin (open)

Noel Faifai – Lower Hutt (open)
Fleur Wickes – Wellington (open)
Jon Drypnz – Wellington (open)
Gwilym Devey – Wellington (open)

Astrid Visser - Blenheim (open)

Murray Neill – Nelson (open)
Jesse Allardice – Motueka (open)
Madison Van Straden – Collingwood – Collingwood Area School
Jess Tyrie – Richmond, Waimea College
Nicole Currie – Nelson, Waimea College
Lauren Lines – Nelson – Waimea College
Bonnie Brown – Nelson - Nayland College
Edin Goldberg – Edin Goldberg – Nayland College
Jesse Maxwell – Richmond – Nayland College
Lee Jerret – Nelson – Nayland College
Morgan Puklowski – Richmond – Nelson Girls’ College
Hazel McColl – Upper Moutere – Nelson Girls’ College
Emily Narbey – Nelson – Nelson Girls’ College
Grace Rowling – Nelson – Nelson Girls’ College
Samantha Stephens – Nelson – Nelson Girls’ College

West Coast:
Nathan Wehi –Greymouth (open)
Louie Neale – Hokitika – Westland High
Alison Haarsma – Westport – Buller High
Samantha York – Westport - Buller High

Reuben Woods –Christchurch (open)
Dayna Upston – Christchurch (open)
Aaron Atom – Christchurch (open)
Hayden Gundry – Christchurch (open)
Darryl Wen – Christchurch – Burnside High

Sam Sharpe – Dunedin (open)

Oi You! is at the Energy Centre, Founders Heritage Park Nelson, September 23 - October 24 2011. Full details on the exhibition and the competition at

Oi You! Fact File

Exhibition dates - September 23 to October 24th 2011

The exhibition’s three major components are:
Over 70 works by the world’s most famous Urban Artists
The 40 finalists (20 from both the youth and open sections) of the Oi You! Art Competition
The best of New Zealand Urban Art featuring The Cut Collective.

The Energy Centre, Nelson. The middle of this building is a pentagon with five huge, eight metre high vintage steel posts. At the very centre is a hook on a pulley capable of supporting a four ton weight. Using partitions, we plan to subdivide the building into four areas: A large central plaza leading to the three exhibition areas each home to one of the major components listed above.


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