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‘The motive is to give back’: five young artists display public work in Bankside

Five young artists have put up striking new works of art in Bankside, as part of a project run by Tate.

The project, called Better Boundaries, was run by business development group Better Bankside alongside the art gallery. Koby Martin, Blk Moody Boi, Zeinab Saleh, Hannah Hill and Megan Visser are the five artists who took part. The works are all large wall or floor images.

The artworks will stay for at least a year in Southwark Street, Gambia Street, St. Felix Place, Canvey Street and Great Suffolk Street.

Blk Moody Boi’s work

The point of the project is “reconnecting people with each other, their local area, and art,” Tate said in an announcement.

Koby Martin’s work aims to explore the history of performance, particularly men who acted female roles when women were not allowed to act, using the Ghanaian symbol of a Siamese crocodile to illustrate unity.

Mr Martin said: “Art in any form has the ability to heal, restore, uplift and drive the spirits of us humans in many ways. It is therapy. My aim is to express that in my work and what better way to do this than to share my work with communities of people emerging from a pandemic.

Megan Visser’s work

“I am glad that I have been given the opportunity to bring my art to a public space as part of Beyond Boundaries. For me, the motive of being an artist has always been to give back. Having the gift to create is not about oneself, but a greater purpose to bring joy to others.”

All of the artists were given an established artist as a mentor by Tate to help them develop their ideas and discuss the art industry.

One of the mentors, Julia Vogl, said: “I make public art because I believe it has the power to develop pride in local communities, to create a sense of safety and belonging, to bring people together physically and to add beauty to a place. Beyond Boundaries has offered me a chance to help empower young artists to take on these values.

Hannah Hill’s work

Nicole Gordon, Better Bankside CEO, said: “Better Bankside has long experimented with creatively animating urban spaces in our neighbourhood. Now, more than ever, our public spaces need to be welcoming and inclusive. Young people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic so we are excited that this collaboration with Tate Collective was able to open up creative opportunities for young artists.

“As more and more people return to Bankside, we’re looking forward to seeing how people react to this series of outdoor installations which have been designed to encourage people to see spaces in new ways and inject a sense of optimism about the future.”

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