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Liam Wilson – FRESH STREET#3 Artist in Residence

19.05.2019

Liam Wilson, street artist and FRESH STREET#3 Artist in Residence as part of the duo Kate and Liam. 

What does FRESH STREET mean to you? 

 For me, FRESH STREET represents an opportunity to form connections with people and places, to exchange ideas and develop our collective understanding of everything that street art can be. It is a chance to reimagine the role of street performance in society and develop tools to enhance freedom of expression.

 

What is street art to you? 

Street art is the most important thing in the world (maybe I am biased), as it makes art more accessible to audiences and artists. 

I think that juggling is currently developing so quickly that it is important for people to see examples of fresh work as regularly as possible, to keep in touch with the value that contemporary circus has. I know that many people who would never choose to go to a theatre to watch a circus show are very happy to open up and support juggling when it is made accessible to them. To come across a street artist by chance can be a joy and a gift that has potential to open people up to connections and experiences that they would not otherwise consider; it can unify people and remind them of the irreplaceable value of face to face interaction, of honesty and spontaneity and play.

I think that (young) people who are passionate about art are often afraid to give it the importance that they intuitively feel it has, that there is too much pressure on them and too many obstacles in the way of the commitment it takes to make a career out of art, and that therefore working on the street is invaluable to develop stability and confidence in the value of the work. It provides the chance to gain experience and honest feedback on developing work without any middleman, without moderation or censorship. It provides an income which has much more significance than the ability to pay rent and eat, as each donation also represents a direct statement of support for our work, a validation and recognition of the value of art, a clear message to continue on or path and let our doubts dissolve. 

“…it can unify people and remind them of the irreplaceable value of face-to-face interaction, of honesty and spontaneity and play.”

 What would you like to see happening with street art across Europe?  

 I would like to see it continue to grow in its own organic way. I’d like to see more young artists finding their feet and their freedom. I’d be happy if there was a trend towards deregulation, or softening of restrictions on street art. I’d like to see artists becoming more mobile and international (although my ecological conscience would also prefer to see people travel less, in general). I’d like to see more public awareness of the value of street art. I’d like to see more thought put into the effects of regulations on all types of artists, with an awareness that those with the loudest voices do not always represent the interests of the whole, or the majority of artists. I think more dialogue between policy makers and artists would be good, and some type of shift in power to give artists a better chance to have their diverse opinions represented in a fair and balanced way.

 

What do you want to achieve with your residency?

 Kate and I are keen to connect to Inis Oírr and let its special character into ourselves and our work. The island offers a type of peace and silence which we find precious and inspirational, we hope to allow its influence to bring us into to a state from which we can create work with a character that is different from anything we could have made in Berlin or Milan. 

We wish to broaden and deepen our connections to those who will be around us – artists and professionals, locals and travellers. We want to hear and tell stories and take time to process the depth of their meaning.

ABOUT FRESH STREET#3:

As a result of their partnership with Circostrada, the ISACS Networkwill host the International conference FRESH STREET#3 in partnership with Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. This event is scheduled to take place from 22 – 24 May 2019. It will see over 250 international delegates with a professional background and passion for all things street arts from all over the world in attendance. Artists, practitioners, programmers, producers, festivals, stakeholders, policymakers, journalists and more will make up the audience.

The theme of this event is ‘Place and Identity’ and is driven largely by the global and local crisis that the world is experiencing currently in relation to how we relate, feel and perceive same.

The event will be hosted by the National University of Ireland, Galway, with a one-day exploration of place and identity on the beautiful Inis Oírr, Aran Islands.

Stay up to date with FRESH STREET#3 on Facebook.

About Liam Wilson:

Liam grew up climbing treeshillwalking and teaching himself to juggle. In 2010, he became a full-time performer and left the UK to explore the European circus scenedeveloping a solo street show that became the key to combining his passion for travel and new circus performance. His experience of street performance is vast and focused on working outside of festivals, enjoying the freedom and spontaneity of ‘pure’ street performance. Since 2015 Liam, has also worked with the circus company Critical Mess, under the direction of Stefan Sing. 

 

 Photo: Diego Bardone