The third edition of the rural community art festival Gargar has just wrapped for another year and I spent the weekend there trying to capture as much of the event as possible. Fortunately for me the village of Penelles is very small but I still racked up close to 30km walking around seeing all the work in progress and final pieces.
This years line up promised to the best yet and it did not disappoint, with both local and international artists in attendance along with glorious sunshine and not a sniff of the thunderstorms that were forecast. Good news for the artists, bad news for my uncovered bald head.
First up is French artist Harry James who created this magnificent western style wanted poster. Instead of featuring human characters Harry has given life to the types of animals that you may find wandering around the fields of Penelles. The pig, in a plaid shirt and hat sporting the Gargar logo, looks to be the leader of this gang but none of them look like they should be messed with. This piece certainly caught the attention of the locals who were gathered round in their droves every time I came to see how the piece was progressing.
Elusive Belgian artist Dzia was certainly busy during the festival creating three of his animal inspired abstract geometric works. This striking piece, the main one of the three is of a large cat stalking a butterfly and is positioned right in the heart of Penelles.
Danny Rumbl was also very productive during the event as he also created three new pieces. This was the largest of the Dutch artist’s pieces, a really colourful cartoon Rooster character that appears to have either grown or acquired a farmers leg.
Danny ended up being our unofficial tour guide to some hidden works on the Sunday. Ever the graffiti artist he had been exploring Penelles in it’s entirety and found a few hidden spots that were perfect for some ‘off’ Gargar pieces.
Good friend Tim Marsh was also participating at the festival and on Sunday completed his biggest wall to date. This was another piece that got a lot of attention during the festival. I think mainly because tractors are a pretty big deal in Penelles and Tim’s bright geometric piece depicting animals praying to their tractor God made a little too much sense to the locals.
Spanish artist Kekone created this fun colourful piece in no time at all on Saturday afternoon. It’s really incredible to watch an artist create something like this so quickly. This piece is on a three part wall and has one of Keko’s wide eyed characters peeking through the jungle watching the approaching animal with caution.
French duo MonkeyBird were also part of this years line up and created this jaw dropping stencil piece. It took the duo five days of cutting to prepare for the event but the end result is more than worth all that hard work. This black, white and gold piece has a large monkey and two herrings with female bodies relaxing on a palatial structure whilst workmen scamper around below.
This superbly detailed portrait piece titled ‘La Roseta’ was created by Galician artist Mon Devane. The piece is of a local woman who won a raffle to be immortalised on a wall in the village centre. Judging by her reaction when she saw the piece she was very pleased with the result. This piece really showcases Mon’s skills with the spray as he has produced an almost photo like portrait piece.
Hungarian graffiti artist Takerone also contributed a photo realistic piece for the event. This piece of a resting wolf surrounded by splashes of colour is one of the most prominent works and lies on the side of the towns only restaurant. Like the previous piece Taker’s can control is really on show here bringing life to the three dimensional character.
Local illustrator Valenti Gubianas created this wonderfully fun piece down a small street near where the majority of the weekends festivities were held. The piece is straight from a kids story book with flying clothed animals carrying giant smiling banana characters to their brightly coloured tree house. A hugely imaginative piece.