Oct 9, 2020
Another surprise from Banksy...
It was a surprising start to the month with Banksy announcing via Instagram his first ever participation in a trade fair, informing fans he would be giving out "free stuff" at the World Travel Fair in London and inviting them to attend by pretending to be travel agents.
. Opening my first ever stall at a trade fair next week. I’ve painted a replica separation barrier to promote the Walled Off hotel, ironically the neighbours have complained it’s too tall. We’ll be at the Palestine stand giving away free stuff, World Travel Fair, London Excel centre 6th and 7th November. Free to get in if you register online today and pretend to be a travel agent.
A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on Nov 2, 2018 at 7:07am PDT
The artist's stall was open on the 6th and 7th of November featuring not only an original piece by the artist but also giving out thousands of posters which attracted great crowds. The piece Banksy created for his stall, pictured above, is a replica of one of the many the artist has created on the Wall that seperates Israel from the Palestinian West Bank.
The original image Banksy had created directly on the wall.
The two cherubs pictured were seen by many to represent Israel and Palestine, and are depicted using a crowbar to pry apart the wall. The poster Banksy was giving out for free at his stall, which he also made available for download on his website.
An image similar to that of Banksy's new promotional poster which he spray-painted on a wall in the Northern Gaza Strip around 2015.
Fans may have been initially curious as to why Banksy was at a Travel Fair but this was to promote The Walled Off Hotel - the hotel overlooking Bethlehem Wall which the artist opened in 2017 in an aim to bring tourism to Palestine and create a conversation around the conflict and their effects.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine is one Banksy has been very vocal about. Below is a film he made on the issue back in 2015:
Hang-Up takes The Walled Off Hotel
The Walled Off Hotel is of course an experience more than just another hotel. It contains rooms curated by different artists, an art gallery, hosts music events, promotes local artists and of course "offers the worst view in the world!" Banksy described it as a "a three-storey cure for fanaticism, with limited car parking”...
Our gallery manager, Carla Nizzola, had the unique experience of visiting the hotel for the launch in 2017 bringing back first-hand photographs and testimonies.
Entrance to the hotel
The tea room's decoration has a British Colonial theme likely to refer to Britain's role in the region's political history. The "budget" room Rats, perhaps the most frequent symbol in Banksy's work. Another art work in the tea room, again a similar design to the poster and stencil-piece on the wall.
Cherubs making another appearance.
“My accountant was worried some people will be too scared to travel to the West Bank, but then I remind him – for my last show they spent a whole day in Weston-super-Mare.” Here Banksy is referring to Dismaland, another large-scale project by the artist which took place closer to home and which Hang-Up again had the pleasure of attending.
Let's see whats next...
You can view our catalogue of available pieces by Banksy here.
Thank you for reading this week's blog! For any information regarding works by Banksy don't hesitate to get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org