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Graffiti artists get Yorkist inspiration

01 November 2013

PYPER

Sprayed art: the artist Neil Ennui creates in York Minster, as part of its York Minister Night event to mark All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day

Sprayed art: the artist Neil Ennui creates in York Minster, as part of its York Minister Night event to mark All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day

GRAFFITI artists have been at work at York Minster this week - but this time with the blessing of the Dean and Chapter.

Instead of "tagging" walls and windows with their spray cans, the painters from the Leeds co- operative Black Rose have been using large canvases and light-boxes to show how the medieval minster can inspire their work.

The displays, which continue tonight and tomorrow, are part of York Minster Nights, in which the cathedral opened its doors after dark and cleared the nave of furniture for the first time in a decade to allow the public to experience the space of its 276-foot-high nave.

The Dean, the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, said on Monday: "By taking lots of the chairs out, it gives the artists a chance to respond to the building itself. It's an interesting process of interaction with artists coming from quite a different tradition, although they do say that, in the broadest sense, they call themselves spiritual people. They have a great respect for the building.

"Besides the displays there will be activities, too. Everyone who comes to take part will have a chance to make their own poster."

Among the artists is "Inkie", reputedly one of the most notorious and prolific graffiti writers in the UK. He has painted alongside Banksy, and his work is collected by celebrities including Robbie Williams, Jade Jagger, and Jude Law.

The event coincides with the feast of All Saints and the commemoration of All Souls, and with York schools' half-term holiday.

"We are looking to encourage those in their teens to come into the minster in the early evening," Dean Faull said. "We want to show that this building in one sense has been a young person's building for ever.Those who built the minster were really young. . . Those who are rebuilding the minster now are similarly in their teens and twenties, so there's a continuity with that."

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