We have a noteworthy development to report that will be seen by many as a welcome conclusion to the long-standing dispute over some removed Stik murals. It has taken the street artist Stik five years to reach a resolution, working alongside Miss Take, of the Polish collective ‘Graffiti Ladies’.
Some of you will recall listening to their passionate account at one of IAL’s Study Forums back in 2015. At the time, they spoke of a mural created by Stik across two shipping containers for the Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art based in Gdansk, Poland. Part of the mural had been a collaboration between Stik, Miss Take, and a number of other local youths from the city. The mural was meant to be permanently displayed in Gdansk.
Sometime afterwards, it became known that the mural had been dismantled and its dismembered parts were being offered for sale, as standalone pieces, in commercial art galleries in London. Needless to say, this was not the artists’ intention. As Stik stated in a press release announcing the latest developments: ‘I only permit the sale of street artworks when the money goes directly back to the community it was painted for’. Nonetheless, getting the pieces back together and in their original home required Herculean efforts and cooperation between the two artists, the Laznia Centre and many others in the art world.
The pieces created solely by Stik were recovered – though Stik promptly proceeded to spray them in black paint to prevent them re-entering the market, as can be seen in this video on his YouTube channel. As for the collaborative part of the mural, it is currently in a (apparently very secure) storage facility back in Gdansk, awaiting the relocation to a permanent display, still to be determined.
As such, it is most definitely worth celebrating this much-deserved victory which was only achieved after five years of active campaigning. Thankfully, Stik and Miss Take have been tireless in their efforts as otherwise the outcome would have been entirely different.