WANTED BLANK WALLS is an opportunity to offer your doorway, a wall, a garage door, anywhere on your property that you would be interested in having our artists create a work of art for free. Giselle Silvestri, our lead is an international artist, “I continuously investigate the age-old struggle of good versus evil, rich versus poor, and east versus west.” She finds inspiration in “mass media icons- popular images both new and old to address serious topics, sometimes adding a touch of humour.”
Giselle’s pop images are timeless and her paintings are tongue in cheek versions of good versus evil. Giselle has contributed towards the building of the first library for girls in Afghanistan through ACA Gallery. In 1989 Giselle established M.T. Wall Inc, a mural and special effects painting company that completed hundreds of murals until 2007. Then Giselle focused on her personal art only, until I asked her to use her expertise to help with our community project.
With Giselle and our team, we will be creating art in the community, which, as Giselle states has a “bit of meat on the bone’. As an art activist, I could not agree more. Art that looks great, and on a second look- has meaning to make positive change in our world.
Wall painting goes back to prehistory— we see the use of handprints made with vegetable dye imprinted on cave walls, and animals drawn with burnt sticks. Fast forward to the 21st century and we see works by the anonymous celebrity, Banksy.
When I was in Paris on a French culinary course at Ducasse, I had the opportunity to explore the city on foot, including a 3 hour guided tour of feminist street art in the oldest part of Paris, along the streets of the village-like neighbourhood of the Butte-aux-Cailles. It was led by Julie, Cécile & Salomé, guides and art activists, through the winding passages and paved lanes of the Butte-aux-Cailles to learn about art and activism.
Butte-aux-Cailles is an historical Parisian neighbourhood that has conserved its unique village aspect, despite being in central Paris. Small shopkeepers and independent bars cohabit with a diversity of individuals who believe in art and living life to the fullest; “vivez la vie pleinment”.
I found out that this is also where the French Communist Party headquarters is located, as well as the site of a major battle in 1871. On the walls we see acknowledgment of the 19th century women heroines depicted and honoured along with modern day female themes. There remains a spirit of community and solidarity in the neighbourhood. It has a vivacious artistic and political scene that is taken onto the streets for each and everyone to admire, bringing locals into the cafes, and tourists to the street to admire the art.
As a believer that “art can change the world”, I was excited that beyond galleries where engagement is limited. Artists can and do impact directly on change on a street level. That’s why The Amazing Moss Park Art Collective announces: WANTED BLANK WALLS.
Art brings community together- a way to share our hopes for the present and future. As well as celebrating our past. It is a way the artists can give back to the communities by providing an expected smile, a moment of joy....
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