SAFEWALLS: Art Project by Cirque du Soleil
To kick off the new-year, High Roller Society teams up with Cirque du Soleil to launch a brand-new art project called SAFEWALLS. On the first leg of a worldwide tour SAFEWALLS will stop over in London for 3 days ONLY, featuring original works and limited edition prints by British artists Sweet Toof, Jon Burgerman and Glenn Anderson.
The Safewalls project celebrates Cirque du Soleil’s roots—the street—as well as the creative freedom and raw energy associated with street arts by pairing up with artists all over the world to create art posters inspired by its shows. These art posters will be exhibited around the world on a 12-month tour, and limited edition prints of the works will be available for sale via High Roller Society and a dedicated website: www.safewalls.org
From the public notices of Antiquity and the first leaflets and placards handed out by traveling performers—which hark back to the end of the 15th century—to the advertisements of contemporary circuses, the poster has had a long and illustrious history. With the advent of printing, circuses all over the world were able to produce posters in large quantities for display in public places to attract the attention of passers-by. Generally created by local artists, these visually striking works were the ambassadors of travelling big-top circuses and spread the word of their imminent passage in a city. Like the circus itself, the circus poster of lore exerts a fascination all its own. Poster artists and illustrators have had the uncanny ability to distill enormous amounts of information into iconographic images that strike and endure.
Each month starting from February 2011, a temporary SAFEWALLS exhibit will be held in a predetermined city where a Cirque du Soleil show is scheduled to run. The exhibit will be cumulative, growing in size as works of previous cities are added to the collection. Posters will physically travel the world in art galleries where Cirque du Soleil has touring or resident shows. Fusing the fascinating world of Cirque du Soleil with the freedom and energy of street arts, the final artworks will be used for the production of limited edition, signed and numbered screen prints, and limited edition posters.
Cirque du Soleil
At the time of its creation in 1984, Cirque du Soleil was made up of a small group of young performers, artists and dreamers who presented their acts in the street. Since then, the Montreal-based company has been relentlessly pushing the boundaries of circus arts and entertainment. In 2011, Cirque du Soleil is presenting 20 shows simultaneously throughout the world. Cirque du Soleil is a laboratory and platform for creators, constantly researching new artistic avenues and innovating within and outside the organization. As it pursues its dreams, Cirque du Soleil strives to be an agent of change through a number of initiatives that target youth at risk all over the world. The company promotes the importance and relevance of the arts and culture as a tool for social change.