Seaside Banksy 'brought to life' by local street artist

Gorleston possible Banksy Emo

Better than before? Some are saying Great Yarmouth artist Emo has improved the possible Banksy with the addition of teddy bears. - Credit: Liz Coates

A possible Banksy mural in a seaside shelter has been added to by another street artist, with experts claiming it an improvement on the original.

Some eight images in the style of the anonymous graffiti artist have appeared across the East Coast from Cromer to Lowestoft,  Gorleston to Oulton Broad.

Emo adds to possible Banksy

Whereas before the arcade claw seemed to grab anyone that was sitting there, it now reaches for a tumble of teddy bears, one seemingly evading its grip. - Credit: Liz Coates

Banksy has yet to comment but his 10.9m Instagram fans are keeping a close eye on the account where he usually reveals his hand, often up to four days after the works have appeared.

In Gorleston the arcade grabber image paying homage to the disappointing game where players almost never win toys, now features a tumble of teddy bears waiting to be won - with one looking as if it has evaded its grip.

It has been tagged by Emo, aka a well-known Great Yarmouth street artist  Emo Raphiel Astoria who is part of the Reprezent Project, which stresses it was not involved.

Banksy Admiralty Road Great Yarmouth

The bus shelter dancers in Admiralty Road was the most convincing as a genuine Banksy according to our readers' poll. - Credit: Liz Coates

Street art expert and Banksy author Professor Paul Gough, also vice-chancellor and principal at Arts University Bournemouth, said he was "in two minds" over whether it was a genuine collaboration as Emo had stated in his tag.

Banksy mural arcade grabber Gorleston

The tag on the possible Banksy mural on Gorleston's lower prom indicates a collaboration between Banksy and local street artist Emo - 'a big big claim' if not true according to one expert. - Credit: Liz Coates

If Banksy was working with other artists and the pieces were still unfolding then that could be the reason why they had not yet been claimed, he said, adding it was "a big, big claim" for an artist like Emo if he wasn't officially involved which could backfire and leave him with egg on his face.

"But it might be genuine," he said.

Banksy Gorleston arcade grabber

Great Yarmouth street artist Emo has added some bears to a possible Banksy artwork in Gorleston. But is it a true collaboration or a tribute? - Credit: Liz Coates

"It (the claw) is a bit basic as a silhouette so it has been brought to life by the bears.

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"It has a bit of credibility. There is something in it and it has been nicely done."

In his opinion the addition "complemented" the work rather than devalued it, adding: "It looks like it makes sense now.

Has the famous street artist Banksy been in Cromer? 

Has the famous street artist Banksy been in Cromer? - Credit: Sue Edwards

"It is curious. Street art is at its best when people start interacting with it and bringing about a conversation in public."

When Banksy works were eventually authenticated they tended to be tagged, damaged, stolen, or put up for sale - but at the moment they were still in a "pure space."

The arcade grabber is among those considered a genuine Banksy but weaker than some of the others by collector and gallerist John Brandler.

In our poll people were divided over whether it was "real", 53pc of respondents deciding it was.

A Banksy-style artwork has appeared in Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth.

A Banksy-style artwork has appeared in Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Merrivale Model Village

The bus shelter image in Admiralty Road convinced 86pc of readers it was genuine, whereas the seagull and skip in Lowestoft only resonated with 23pc.

Other results were Children in boat 82pc, Girl in sandpit 79pc, Model village 25pc and rat with cocktail 42pc.

Emo has indicated via Reprezent that he does not wish to comment as to whether his addition is a tribute or a true collaboration.

Meanwhile, Steve Page managing director of Great Yarmouth Glass said the company had been contacted by the local authority to provide advice and costings on suitable materials to cover the possible Banksy artwork in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston.

Banksy murals to be protected

A glass company has been called in by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to protect the possibly Banksy murals in Gorleston and Great Yarmouth while work continues behind the scenes to find out who created them. - Credit: Liz Coates

He said: "We are currently looking at sourcing materials that will both protect the colours of the murals and also help provide good quality photographs for those interested, by not reflecting too much light from the product used.

"Due to the vast size of the murals, this is proving difficult at present as ‘anti-glare’ sheet plastic products are very thin and really not suitable for large areas.

"The most suitable product is likely to be UV stabilised polycarbonate. This product will prevent sunlight from fading the colours and also provides a greater level of vandal resistance than most other products currently available.

"The final decision will obviously be made by the local authority and we are currently assisting them in the decision making process. On the basis that they instruct us to proceed, and depending on their choice of  product, we shall be looking to carry out the work in the next two to three working days."

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