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‘Guardians of York’ check the website

April 09, 2021 to May 09, 2021

Art of Protest Projects and The York BID are proud to bring the internationally acclaimed street artist collective ‘The Postman’ to the streets of York where they will exhibit the city’s first urban art project which will elevate and honour pandemic key workers. The aim of this project is to celebrate the ‘guardians’ of the city, specifically those who helped keep York in motion during a time when the city and the world came to a standstill during Covid-19.

Eleven key workers, all of them York residents, were interviewed and told their account of the hardships of working through a pandemic. These included an ICU doctor, ICU nurse, postal worker, teacher, street cleaner, retail worker, rescue boat patrol, and more. Portraits were taken of these individuals which the artists rendered into colourful renditions to be applied in large format onto the city walls of York. The artists choose paste-ups as their medium of urban art and express themselves in the form of brightly coloured, edgy, urban portraits.

‘The Guardians of York’ will be a three month installation which will be displayed to the public from April 9th-July 9th which purposefully coincides with the relaxation of lockdown measures and non-essential business. The aim is to invite people back into the city to come celebrate the efforts of our key workers.
Jeff Clark, director of Art of Protest Projects said “Helping to realise the difference which urban art can make to a town or city through its presence in York has been something we’ve been working towards for a long time. To be able to do it with such outstanding artists like The Postman, as well as our homegrown heroes, was beyond anything I could have imagined when we first set out.”

Andrew Lawson of The York Bid said “The BID has supported a couple of street art projects in the city over the past few years and its new five year business plan outlines how it would like to provide more support in this area. The Guardians of York is an apt project to kick off reopening in 2021, as it will add a splash of colour to the city, whilst reminding the public of those local heroes who have worked hard to keep us all safe.”

The Postman Artist quote “As the project builds momentum, we realise more and more how important it is to tell the stories of the people behind the masks. The key workers that have carried us through the last year, inspired us and made a difference to everybody’s lives.”

Participant Brenna Allsuch quote “Telling my story in such a real and raw way has helped me to understand the weight of this year, and to reflect on all the highs and lows. Beyond that, it’s made me feel like I’m part of a community, a collective of people that have not stopped going.”
Resident Suzie Fox said “It’s amazing what these guys are doing, honouring the city’s workers that kept going to their jobs, despite the risks to them and their families. Making everyday people feel like the superheroes that they became.”

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