Bristol Post article - Monday 31st July 2017

July 2017


Bristol artist who worked with Coldplay is to spray paint yacht as centrepiece of new art trail

Artist Graham 'Paris' Dews is to spray paint racing yacht at Portishead Marina on Sun 6th August as centrepiece of the Marina Arts Trail 2017

Graham 'Paris' DewsGraham 'Paris' Dews (Image: Graham Paris Dews)

A world renowned artist who painted a stage for rock giants Coldplay is to spray paint a racing yacht as the centrepiece of a new arts trail near Bristol.

Bristol-based artist Graham Dews - better known by his graffiti tag name Paris - is to spray paint the 25ft projection 765 racing yacht Banshee II moored at Portishead Marina as the centrepiece of the inaugural Marina Arts Trail in the town.

Mr Dews has collaborated extensively with Coldplay having painted the band's live stage sets as well as working on their videos and designing some of their album artwork.

He has also created large scale pieces for the Glastonbury Festival and London Olympics.

The trail will run on August 5 and 6 at Hall and Woodhouse restaurant and bar on the marina.

Paris at work

Paris at work (Image: Graham Paris Dews)

Mr Dews said: "As the west country is pretty much my second home I'm delighted to be able to help out at this event in Portishead.

"What excites me even more is the nautical link - painting a yacht will be a first for me, and in fact I don't recall ever seeing one spray-painted before...anywhere....ever.

"The nautical link also ties in with my heritage.

"I grew up in Hull on the north east coast, and a distant relative of mine Stephen Dews is a world famous marine artist, creating stunning oil paintings of yachts and maritime scenes.

"I simply can't wait to paint a yacht.

“It is a dream job and at some point in the afternoon I will give a presentation and explain in more detail how I use a spray can and demonstrate a few of my techniques and styles, providing a unique insight into the world class sport of 'Aerosol Art'"

The trail will see 20 members of the public, 20 young people and 20 professional artists painting their own pieces - all inspired by Portishead's marina.

All of the artwork created will be hung around the marina as a pop-up arts trail.

Chris Martin from Coldplay on the stage designed by Paris

Chris Martin from Coldplay on the stage designed by Paris (Image: Greham Paris Dews)

Mr Dews will give a live presentation at 1pm on Sunday 6th August before setting to work on transforming Banshee II into a sailing work of art.

The event – which will raise money for Portishead Youth Club’s skate park event - has been put together by Portishead Arts, a collective of local creatives led by Luke Palmer, a well-known street artist in his own right.

Having been part of Bristol's emerging street art scene throughout the 90s, Luke has been able to call on the support of numerous graffiti artists.

When Mr Dews agreed to take part, Luke knew that he had to find a canvas which befitted his famous friend's global profile.

He approached the marina's management team who put a call out to berth holders to see if anyone would be willing to let an artist loose on their seagoing pride and joy – and to Luke's surprise, yacht owner Stuart Phipps came forward.

Mr Phipps said: "I have always had an interest in modern contemporary art so when I was contacted about the idea of an artist painting a boat as part of the Marina Art Trail I immediately volunteered my yacht, Banshee II.

"I felt that helping raise funds for the younger members of the community with such a new and fresh approach would help their cause and may inspire them to consider sailing as a hobby.

"I bought the projection 765 yacht to pick up my passion for racing and I intend to race the boat locally as well as entering regional events across the UK.

“Banshee II is a fast sports yacht which can achieve speeds of up to 20 miles an hour which is both exhilarating and challenging to sail.

“I can't wait to see what Paris comes up with and then setting sail, taking his work around the coastline of the UK."

The Marina Arts Trail was dreamt up as a way to boost community engagement in the arts, both as a way of getting local people involved as well as to discover the wealth of talent on their doorstep.

The Marina Arts Trail is in Portshead on August 5 and 6

The Marina Arts Trail is in Portshead on August 5 and 6 (Image: Luke Palmer)

To pay for the event, a page has been set up on Fundsurfer.

In return for a pledge £25, sponsors will help to pay for materials, as well as the cost of staging the event.

In return, they'll receive one of the artworks created during the event, which will be selected by a random draw on the Sunday - a unique memento of what the organisers hope will be the first of many such annual Marina Arts Trails.

There are also just three Gold Sponsorship corporate packages available for £500, for which businesses will see their company name and logo featured prominently on the event's publicity and signage.

You can find further information here, please see or contact

Crowdfunding project

Everyone's an Artist! - Marina Arts Trail 2017

Artists, young people & members of the public will create paintings live at the Marina + fundraise for a Skate Park fun-day at Portishead Youth Centre

Funding successful

£1,825 raised