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Banksy inspires new generation of street art in Neath Port Talbot

A new BBC programme exploring the legacy of Banksy will air this Friday on BBC One Wales, 8pm

Who needs Banksy - Our Lives. Credit: BBC

When a mural by the world’s most famous street artist, Banksy, appeared overnight in Port Talbot it caused a sensation, but also a problem. Despite a local campaign, the mural called ‘Seasons Greetings’ was sold to an art dealer and taken to an undisclosed location over the border in England.

Whilst the mural has left Port Talbot, the legacy of Banksy is now to be seen everywhere across the steel town with an explosion of street art and murals inspired by the artist’s work.  

Local people in Port Talbot have been encouraged to take up the spray cans and express themselves including steelworker Ryan Davies who has used a water tower at the steel plant as his canvas for street art.

In addition, artists have been commissioned to come to Port Talbot and create new works honouring local heroes like Michael Sheen and Richard Burton.

Pictured: Street artist Tassia

Tassia, one of the street artists to be featured in the new BBC programme has created a 7 metre high pink dragon on a gable end, and all whilst having stage 4 breast cancer.

Port Talbot is not short of walls to draw on. The underpasses have become a space to tell the history of the town, including the story of the Jamaican community.  And on the site of the original Banksy, a new mural has appeared drawing attention to air pollution in an ironic homage to the Banksy original.

Six months after the Banksy left Port Talbot, the town is alive with a myriad of street art paintings. The local community have achieved their objective of putting Port Talbot on the map as the street art capital of Wales.