Date published: 05 December 2012
Hopwood Hall College art students painting for BBC One Show
When the BBC One Show was planning a feature on Walter Kershaw, the original ‘Banksy’, they looked to Hopwood Hall College art students to help illustrate the story.
The BBC initially approached Rochdale council and they, in turn, invited a group of students from the College to recreate some of Walter Kershaw’s most famous work. The nine students worked for two days on a house in Ramsay Street, Rochdale, deliberately close to the site of the renowned Walter Kershaw mural ‘Inside out House’.
The two days of painting last Thursday and Friday were filmed by the BBC and will air in March 2013, along with an interview with the artist by local presenter Andy Kershaw (no relation to Walter!). The time lapse video will show the students working on the three pieces which include recreations of two of Kershaw’s famous street art including ‘Poppy’ and ‘Inside out House’ plus a Lancaster bomber which was influenced by his spitfire works.
Sadly, very little of the artist’s work still exists as he was known for guerilla style street art that appeared overnight and then often disappeared as quickly. His work lives on only in photos and the students used these as a guide for their homage to the great 70s street artist. As with most of the originals, these three pieces of art will also soon disappear as the house is due for demolition next year much to the disappointment of local residents. Many of the locals commented that the work had brightened up the area and they really liked what the students had produced.
The students knew that they were to get a visit from the artist himself but he was kept in the dark. Walter Kershaw was led to the artwork by his interviewer, Andy Kershaw, and came around the street corner to be faced with the large scale work and, once over the shock, he joined in by putting the finishing touches to the vase in the ‘room’ setting piece.
Mike Simpson, Hopwood Hall College’s Programme Manager for Arts & Performing Arts was with the students on site and said: “They all loved working on this project and Walter Kershaw was very impressed with what they had produced. He said that the colours were fantastic and he really liked the humour of the cat on the windowsill. He gave the students advice on shading and also gave them a top tip of putting antifreeze in the paint.” Mike adds: “The best experience for our students is real life, real work and they certainly got that with this project. Plus they got to meet an iconic Northern artist and have now got some great work to include in their portfolios.”
17 year old Jeigar Stead, from Littleborough, who is currently in the second year of a Fine Art Course at Hopwood Hall College said: “Although it was freezing cold, it was a great experience. It was really interesting to work on such a large painting - we have done big drawings before on the course but nothing quite this big! It was also good to meet and work with students from other years and courses.”