Art in Action: An interview with Weston street artist JPS

JPS street art.

JPS street art. - Credit: Archant

Jamie Scanlon, better known as JPS, is planning to return to Weston this summer to add to its street-art trail.

Jamie Scanlon, better known as the street artist JPS, promised to return to Weston this summer to add to the town's street art trail, and he hasn't disappointed.

Now living in Europe, JPS told the Resident the people of Weston have always been very supportive of him so he will always do what he can to help improve the town.

When asked about his recent visit, the artist said: "I mainly kept it low key and included some tributes to a couple of friends who have passed in the last couple of years, Daniel Lawrence and Jonathan Monk. I also put a wolf on the sea front, a kid on a bike just off the High Street and I repainted Batman, as it's been up since early 2013 and was looking a bit worse for wear."

A printed map for Weston's art trail is available from a number of outlets including: the Visitor Information Centre on Marine Parade, the Weston Mercury office in Waterloo Street and from the town's train station. It can also be downloaded from www.westonbid.co.uk.

The latest map lists 10 destinations. Jamie points out, however, there is more street art to see.


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He added: "Some of the original works are now gone but there's other stuff that is not mapped, including the new ones of course. Over the past few years, the rate of work arriving has definitely stayed above the numbers dying. The map gives you a great starting point to explore the art trail and if people are really interested they will have a good look around to discover additional works."

JPS credits street artist Banksy for saving his life.

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In 2009, the life of Jamie Scanlon was on a downward spiral. Two friends were murdered, and he hid his grief through alcohol. Drugs followed, and he became homeless. The turning point came, however, when he visited the Banksy Show in Bristol. Already into fine art, he was so inspired he felt street art was something he could do and do well.

He said: "My life was in the gutter and it was a long journey back out of it, but seeing that exhibition helped me get my life back on track. It felt like a light came back on in my head and suddenly I could see a future."

JPS started stencilling, eventually establishing his own brand of witty street art all around Weston. He became well known for his fun style involving pop culture characters along with some frighteningly realistic horror movie characters, and his work has since been featured at the Tate Modern and in a number of TV adverts.

He continues his street art in Germany and has painted in New York, Los Angeles and Norway.

Will he be back in Weston any time soon?

JPS said: "I am planning to return to Weston early in September. It has been a very busy year so far, and I am currently working on pieces for a new solo show in Germany. I'm also working on a secret project in the UK. People can stay updated with new works via my Instagram jps_artist."

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