Ship calls aboard graffiti artist

Posted on 27 March 2013
By Oriol Bosch
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A graffiti artist has completed a mural that will help turn a huge ship around from eyesore status to art attraction.

The mural, by the Brighton-based painter SNUB23, is the first in a series of four, which are set to be added to the grounded ship within the space of eight days.

They are part of the second phase of a controversial project that aims to turn “The Duke of Lancaster”, a beached former passenger ferry, into an open air art gallery and tourist destination in North Wales.

The first phase began last year. It saw eight paintings being added from urban artists from around the world, including French GOIN, Hungarian Mr Zero and Latvian KIWIE.

SNUB23, who is known for his high impact graphics, was quick to get involved with the project, commenting: “Chance to paint a massive boat? Hell yeah.

“Metal is made for me. Especially the old, rusted and eroded stuff, flaked paint surfaces and battered edges. That stuff is art on its own.

“This rusted wreck has an apocalyptic feel to it. It’s obvious I’d be up for this, it has it all.”

His giant piece, named “Your Time is Up, The Future is Here”, is a 12m x 12m futuristic robot that spans nearly the full height of the ship.

He said: “Much of my current work is on metal which I shape and texture. My character is made of metal and I always paint him as big as I can.”

Project Director, Maurice, comments: “SNUB23 is known for creating a statement on anything from backdrops for parties, to album covers, to clothes and toys, as well as back out on to the streets.

“He is not afraid to experiment with new techniques to produce diverse works using stickers, paste-ups, stencils and freehand spray paints.

“This made him a perfect fit for the project, which is all focussed around large scale pieces, which have a clear message and make a statement.”

The project, which has the owners’ blessing, is being coordinated by DuDug urban art collective.

Lancashire’s gallery artist Dale Grimshaw, street artist Spacehop and Essex’s urban artist Dan Kitchener are set to continue the Phase 2 of the project throughout this week.

The Duke of Lancaster has been dug into the Dee estuary in Flintshire since 1979. The ship is considered a local landmark and it is now on its way to become a huge street artwork.