Malvern's 'Banksy' street artists chose to come forward after run-in with police

Worcester News: John Anyon        10/3/14                  11145407

Banksy style graffiti in the bus shelter in Malvern town centre by entrance to Rose Bank Gardens (4496765) John Anyon 10/3/14 11145407 Banksy style graffiti in the bus shelter in Malvern town centre by entrance to Rose Bank Gardens (4496765)

AN early hours run-in with the police prompted the men behind Malvern's Banksy-style Edward Elgar street art to break their cover.

Lee Morris and Tom Brown originally intended their four images of the classical composer on the Wells Road bus shelter beneath the Rosebank Gardens in the Centre of Great Malvern to be a one-off anonymous gift to the town.

But as the pair, both 34, were caught red handed by the police at about 4am on Sunday, March 9 they felt it necessary to come forward as the creative culprits.

Mr Morris, who is a fine art printer, said: "It was fun until the very end. That moment has scarred me for life.

"The timing of them turning up was remarkable. If they turned up 30 seconds before we would not have done that last stencil and if it had been 30 seconds later we would have been finished and gone."

He added: "It was Tom's fault we got caught because when we were walking down he was singing Caught By the Fuzz by Supergrass."

Mr Brown, a regional sales manager for a software company, said they were wearing hi-vis jackets to make it appear they were carrying out official work.

"We had it all planned out and we hadn't told anybody. It was just me and Lee and that was as far as it went. We hope to do some legal artwork in the future and maybe put on an exhibition."

The police dealt with them by the way of a community resolution, which can be used as an informal agreement between the parties involved for minor offences or anti-social behaviour.

Following discussions with Malvern Town Council, who own the shelter, steps are being taken to secure the framed paintings to prevent them from being removed.

Mr Morris said: "I wanted to do a design that was going to be good for the community - what people would want and what symbolises Malvern. Edward Elgar is just that.

"I walk past that bus stop twice a day and I was looking at those three recesses and thought there just needs to be a picture on each of the alcoves. It's a blank canvass."

A spokesman for the town council confirmed the work was not commissioned but "in view of the positive response to this artwork" they might consider using some of the pair's work at other sites in the town.

"Both Mr Morris and Mr Brown said that they would like to issue an apology for not seeking approval from the council before putting the artwork in place and also added that they do not condone any form of unauthorised public graffiti."

He added: "Malvern Town Council will now consider adopting the artwork and the council has been urged by a number of Malvern residents to allow it to remain."

More than 100 hours of work went into producing the images which find Sir Edward nonchalantly standing next to the phone box holding a green smartphone in his hands along with three canvases depicting him waiting for a bus in bright and bold colours.

Mr Morris describes the public's reaction as "surreal" and now intends to sell the original artworks and put the money into the town's art community, while welcoming suggestions for future work.

Cllr Peter Smith, who represents the town council in the Priory ward, is proposing display cases are placed in bus stop's three arches to house artwork in a bid to respond to public support as well as improving the Victorian structure.

Cllr Smith said: "I have no criticism of the artists who have come up with an innovative idea presented in a civilised manner.

"Elgar would have approved of the mildly subversive prank or 'jape' as he would have called it. He for one knew about blinkered opinions and the energy sapping effect of bureaucracy."

For more information about the pair's work, go to weloveart.co.uk or e-mail hello@weloveart.co.uk.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:01am Fri 14 Mar 14

PrivateSi says...

Well done guys, really good artwork, perfectly placed and a wonderful visual tribute to a brilliant musician... Sorry the rozzers got you - didn't deserve that.
Well done guys, really good artwork, perfectly placed and a wonderful visual tribute to a brilliant musician... Sorry the rozzers got you - didn't deserve that. PrivateSi
  • Score: 12

9:21am Sun 30 Mar 14

Allan Whitehead says...

It seems we have double standard in operation. Had these sketches been done by some young art student, it would have been labelled as this bus shelter being vandalised, and no doubt been prosecuted. Would these young art students have been considered for a council commission to produce more of their artwork?

These two adults (Lee Morris and Tom Brown) premeditated this act of vandalism on public property. If it were not for the “Lee Morris”, I would have thought this to be a piece from “Tom Brown’s school days” author.

This artwork may have brightened up some dowdy looking however; it was nothing more than a deliberate act of defacing something that did not belong to them.
We often hear criticism of the police response being too late after the event.
Here they actually succeeded in apprehending these two adult vandals. Only to see the authorities and the public praise the perpetrators, and admire what they had done. Let us hope these two adults have not set off a wave of graffiti artist who
Works may be considered as modern art.
It seems we have double standard in operation. Had these sketches been done by some young art student, it would have been labelled as this bus shelter being vandalised, and no doubt been prosecuted. Would these young art students have been considered for a council commission to produce more of their artwork? These two adults (Lee Morris and Tom Brown) premeditated this act of vandalism on public property. If it were not for the “Lee Morris”, I would have thought this to be a piece from “Tom Brown’s school days” author. This artwork may have brightened up some dowdy looking however; it was nothing more than a deliberate act of defacing something that did not belong to them. We often hear criticism of the police response being too late after the event. Here they actually succeeded in apprehending these two adult vandals. Only to see the authorities and the public praise the perpetrators, and admire what they had done. Let us hope these two adults have not set off a wave of graffiti artist who Works may be considered as modern art. Allan Whitehead
  • Score: -4

9:54pm Sun 30 Mar 14

The Big Dentist says...

Let us hope Mr Whitehead's somewhat unlettered response does not set off a wave of ill-conceived knee-jerkery masquerading as considered thought.
Let us hope Mr Whitehead's somewhat unlettered response does not set off a wave of ill-conceived knee-jerkery masquerading as considered thought. The Big Dentist
  • Score: 0

7:54am Mon 31 Mar 14

Lord Newbold says...

The Big Dentist,
Reading Mr Whitehead’s contribution rings with unfaltering truth. Our system certainly practices double standards when it comes to issues that regardless of public opinion. Are defacing property that does not belonging to them.
The Big Dentist, Reading Mr Whitehead’s contribution rings with unfaltering truth. Our system certainly practices double standards when it comes to issues that regardless of public opinion. Are defacing property that does not belonging to them. Lord Newbold
  • Score: 0

9:20am Tue 1 Apr 14

TheKLF99 says...

Even though it is defacing public property I think it seems to add niceness to an area. Why can't we have more modern art on display on public property?

How much red tape would they have to go through just to get that done officially. It's not like they've just got a spray can and scrawled a random "4 Eva" message on it, they've done a really nice piece of art and spent time doing so to make the town a little brighter - the same as many other places people build special buildings for towns.

I originally lived in Warrington and we had a similar thing done there - there was a massive awful brown building as you left the town. An artist was given permission by the owner to paint a seascape on the building, however even though he had permission from the owner, the councils red tape department got involved and claimed it would be too distracting to drivers (never mind the massive TV screens they install on road ways like at Liverpool's Gyratory that distract drivers with flashing images - a seascape would be way more distracting). In the end the council agreed a more simple painting - the building is now pink wth a large sore eye on the side (his reference to it being more of an eye-sore now than if he'd been allowed to paint the seascape on it).

There was also many buildings in the town left by wealthy people as presents to the town - The Parr Hall (Joseph Parr), Walton Gardens (Greenall's).

These painting may have been done without permission but they are a nice tribute to the town - it could have been worse - Penkiln Burn (Bill Drummond) is an artist group that attached "Twinned with your darkest thought" to the twinned town signs in Hull - http://www.b3ta.com/
images/b3ta/billdrum
mond.jpg
Even though it is defacing public property I think it seems to add niceness to an area. Why can't we have more modern art on display on public property? How much red tape would they have to go through just to get that done officially. It's not like they've just got a spray can and scrawled a random "4 Eva" message on it, they've done a really nice piece of art and spent time doing so to make the town a little brighter - the same as many other places people build special buildings for towns. I originally lived in Warrington and we had a similar thing done there - there was a massive awful brown building as you left the town. An artist was given permission by the owner to paint a seascape on the building, however even though he had permission from the owner, the councils red tape department got involved and claimed it would be too distracting to drivers (never mind the massive TV screens they install on road ways like at Liverpool's Gyratory that distract drivers with flashing images - a seascape would be way more distracting). In the end the council agreed a more simple painting - the building is now pink wth a large sore eye on the side (his reference to it being more of an eye-sore now than if he'd been allowed to paint the seascape on it). There was also many buildings in the town left by wealthy people as presents to the town - The Parr Hall (Joseph Parr), Walton Gardens (Greenall's). These painting may have been done without permission but they are a nice tribute to the town - it could have been worse - Penkiln Burn (Bill Drummond) is an artist group that attached "Twinned with your darkest thought" to the twinned town signs in Hull - http://www.b3ta.com/ images/b3ta/billdrum mond.jpg TheKLF99
  • Score: 2

9:44am Tue 1 Apr 14

Lord Newbold says...

TheKLF99 wrote:
Even though it is defacing public property I think it seems to add niceness to an area. Why can't we have more modern art on display on public property?

How much red tape would they have to go through just to get that done officially. It's not like they've just got a spray can and scrawled a random "4 Eva" message on it, they've done a really nice piece of art and spent time doing so to make the town a little brighter - the same as many other places people build special buildings for towns.

I originally lived in Warrington and we had a similar thing done there - there was a massive awful brown building as you left the town. An artist was given permission by the owner to paint a seascape on the building, however even though he had permission from the owner, the councils red tape department got involved and claimed it would be too distracting to drivers (never mind the massive TV screens they install on road ways like at Liverpool's Gyratory that distract drivers with flashing images - a seascape would be way more distracting). In the end the council agreed a more simple painting - the building is now pink wth a large sore eye on the side (his reference to it being more of an eye-sore now than if he'd been allowed to paint the seascape on it).

There was also many buildings in the town left by wealthy people as presents to the town - The Parr Hall (Joseph Parr), Walton Gardens (Greenall's).

These painting may have been done without permission but they are a nice tribute to the town - it could have been worse - Penkiln Burn (Bill Drummond) is an artist group that attached "Twinned with your darkest thought" to the twinned town signs in Hull - http://www.b3ta.com/

images/b3ta/billdrum

mond.jpg
Do you mean this type of modern art, or that psychedelic style that people claim to understand.

https://www.google.c
o.uk/search?q=walter
+kershaw&biw=1180&bi
h=607&tbm=isch&imgil
=Ep30fddyxsH2UM%253A
%253Bhttps%253A%252F
%252Fencrypted-tbn0.
gstatic.com%252Fimag
es%253Fq%253Dtbn%253
AANd9GcSAV7aoMGXtBH5
5W747mKQbmZG86hw3g3h
43SttHnEGixkA6DmmmQ%
253B460%253B276%253B
Umv_XZXwywXywM%253Bh
ttp%25253A%25252F%25
252Fwww.theguardian.
com%25252Fartanddesi
gn%25252F2012%25252F
sep%25252F12%25252Fw
alter-kershaw-pionee
r-street-art&source=
iu&usg=__1KP1qj2guYO
NWcJqAb0b0qdqPMU%3D&
sa=X&ei=xHo6U6CAMYKA
hAeDpIBw&sqi=2&ved=0
CKgBEP4dMAw#facrc=_&
imgdii=_&imgrc=a_M46
k_QRhpb0M%253A%3B9P2
NqvwaPMC4jM%3Bhttp%2
53A%252F%252Fimage.i
nvaluable.com%252Fho
usePhotos%252FMellor
s%252F94%252F282694%
252FH0761-L15484354.
jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F
%252Fwww.invaluable.
com%252Fartist%252Fk
ershaw-walter-22d99n
ko48%3B750%3B476
[quote][p][bold]TheKLF99[/bold] wrote: Even though it is defacing public property I think it seems to add niceness to an area. Why can't we have more modern art on display on public property? How much red tape would they have to go through just to get that done officially. It's not like they've just got a spray can and scrawled a random "4 Eva" message on it, they've done a really nice piece of art and spent time doing so to make the town a little brighter - the same as many other places people build special buildings for towns. I originally lived in Warrington and we had a similar thing done there - there was a massive awful brown building as you left the town. An artist was given permission by the owner to paint a seascape on the building, however even though he had permission from the owner, the councils red tape department got involved and claimed it would be too distracting to drivers (never mind the massive TV screens they install on road ways like at Liverpool's Gyratory that distract drivers with flashing images - a seascape would be way more distracting). In the end the council agreed a more simple painting - the building is now pink wth a large sore eye on the side (his reference to it being more of an eye-sore now than if he'd been allowed to paint the seascape on it). There was also many buildings in the town left by wealthy people as presents to the town - The Parr Hall (Joseph Parr), Walton Gardens (Greenall's). These painting may have been done without permission but they are a nice tribute to the town - it could have been worse - Penkiln Burn (Bill Drummond) is an artist group that attached "Twinned with your darkest thought" to the twinned town signs in Hull - http://www.b3ta.com/ images/b3ta/billdrum mond.jpg[/p][/quote]Do you mean this type of modern art, or that psychedelic style that people claim to understand. https://www.google.c o.uk/search?q=walter +kershaw&biw=1180&bi h=607&tbm=isch&imgil =Ep30fddyxsH2UM%253A %253Bhttps%253A%252F %252Fencrypted-tbn0. gstatic.com%252Fimag es%253Fq%253Dtbn%253 AANd9GcSAV7aoMGXtBH5 5W747mKQbmZG86hw3g3h 43SttHnEGixkA6DmmmQ% 253B460%253B276%253B Umv_XZXwywXywM%253Bh ttp%25253A%25252F%25 252Fwww.theguardian. com%25252Fartanddesi gn%25252F2012%25252F sep%25252F12%25252Fw alter-kershaw-pionee r-street-art&source= iu&usg=__1KP1qj2guYO NWcJqAb0b0qdqPMU%3D& sa=X&ei=xHo6U6CAMYKA hAeDpIBw&sqi=2&ved=0 CKgBEP4dMAw#facrc=_& imgdii=_&imgrc=a_M46 k_QRhpb0M%253A%3B9P2 NqvwaPMC4jM%3Bhttp%2 53A%252F%252Fimage.i nvaluable.com%252Fho usePhotos%252FMellor s%252F94%252F282694% 252FH0761-L15484354. jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F %252Fwww.invaluable. com%252Fartist%252Fk ershaw-walter-22d99n ko48%3B750%3B476 Lord Newbold
  • Score: -1

12:11am Sat 5 Apr 14

bluejeans says...

Interesting.
In an era where people don't really consume art anymore, it's pretty understandable that these artists take to other means to get their work appreciated.
I'm not saying i condone graffiti or vandalism, but they've paid tribute to our heritage, and it's in the interests of everybody local to the area.
It's a positive way of approaching and educating younger generations, whom with their smartphones and macbook pros they use for their year 7 english homework, have access to all sorts of awful music these days.
Interesting. In an era where people don't really consume art anymore, it's pretty understandable that these artists take to other means to get their work appreciated. I'm not saying i condone graffiti or vandalism, but they've paid tribute to our heritage, and it's in the interests of everybody local to the area. It's a positive way of approaching and educating younger generations, whom with their smartphones and macbook pros they use for their year 7 english homework, have access to all sorts of awful music these days. bluejeans
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree