Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton

Banksy Art Exhibit in Edmonton Alberta

An Immersive Experience Honouring the World's Most Elusive Artist, Banksy

Visiting the International Touring Art Show's Only Stop in Alberta Canada

Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton was one of only 5 Canadian stops on this 22-City international touring art exhibit. Edmonton was the only Alberta stop. Banksyland brings the mystique, art, and activist ideals of the world's most elusive artist, Banksy to the people for which it is meant. This immersive experience includes original, and studio works, salvaged street artworks, and never-before-seen installations. Even though Banksy himself said, 'When you go to an art gallery you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires...' This is one trophy cabinet I was happy to see. Having narrowly missed seeing Banksy's street art in Paris a few years ago, I was happy to have a second chance when Banksyland made a stop in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

#banksyland

Banksyland Traveling Art Exposition Edmonton

Banksyland Edmonton 2023

  • Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton is an international touring exhibition celebrating the art and ideals of the world's most elusive street artist, Banksy. Exhibition goers saw original and studio works, salvaged street artworks, and experience immersive installations. This video highlights some of the immersive experiences from Banksyland's stop in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2023. 

Banksyland in Edmonton Alberta Canada

Edmonton loves Banksy. To create the best experience a limited number of tickets are sold for each time slot. Banksyland shows often sell out, so it is important to purchase tickets early. This is the line up of people waiting for their time slot to enter the Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton.

Waiting to get into Banksyland Edmonton. Photo Credit: Janet Guthrie

Mystery Event Location

Keeping with Banksy's brand, the location of the event isn't released until a few weeks beforehand. For the Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton a premium event space overlooking city's beautiful river valley called the Pendennis Building was chosen. We took a quick break from the Banksyland Edmonton exposition to take in the river valley views from the rooftop patio. From here you can see several Edmonton attractions including the Muttart Conservatory, Gallagher Park, home to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and the Edmonton Riverboat docked nearby.
Edmonton River Valley. Photo Credit: Janet Guthrie
Edmonton Sunset. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Who is Banksy?

Banksy's identity is a closely guarded secret. What is known is that he is British. And other than his dark sense of humor and thoughts on certain matters, that is about all that is known. He is an outspoken activist and strongly opposes war, violence,  oppression, and the abuse of power.  His imagery often contrasts the innocence of youth with the violence of war and oppression.

Iconic Banksy

Flower Thrower

"I like to think I have the guts to... call for things no-one else believes in – like peace and justice and freedom." Banksy. The Flower Thrower is one of Banksy's most iconic paintings. Since appearing on a wall in the West Bank, it has been replicated thousands of times. This piece is about standing up against power and oppression, not with violence, but with love. Therefore, it is also known at Love is in the Air. This piece was brought to life at the  Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton with this life-sized statue and with a video of the protester throwing flowers. 

Girl with the Red Balloon

One of the most beloved pieces and infamous pieces created by Banksy is the Girl with the Red Balloon. The image below is a black and white version of the iconic image. The painting depicts the moment that childhood innocence is lost. 

Another reason for this painting being so well known is for the stir it caused a Sotheby's auction.  A print of this iconic image sold for $1.4 Million (USD). However, that is not what caused the stir. As soon as the auctioneer declared the piece sold an alarm sounded triggering a mechanism hidden inside the frame. To everyone's astonishment, especially the buyer's, the print started to shred! The Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton included a video showing the piece self-destruct and then opening it to see the mechanism on the inside. Not to worry, you don't need to feel bad for the person that bought the painting that was instantly destroyed. It was renamed, Love is in the Bin and they later sold it for $25.4 million USD! 

Interestingly, Banksy did what most people would do after the painting sold. Well, sort of. He bought a boat. Actually, he bought a former French Navy Boat, the M.V. Louise Michel. Which, Banksy funded to sail the Mediterranean operating as rescue vessel for refugees.

Flower Thrower. Photo Credit: Janet Guthrie
Girl with Red Balloon Stencil. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Banksy's Rats

Representing those that are overlooked, and under-estimated rats are symbols of resilience against all odds. The rats are challenge society's perceptions of value. Most famous among Banksy's rats are Radar Rat and Gangsta Rat. Constant vigilance, Radar Rat keeps a watchful eye on the city whereas Gangsta Rat appears to be the king of New York's underground style.

Salvaged Radar Rat. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Salvaged Stop Rat. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Problems with Authority

Rude Copper

Naturally, being a street artist means that Banksy has a complicated relationship with law enforcement. His dislike of police is no secret either. Perhaps it is because, like Radar Rat he has seen how authority sometimes treats the disadvantaged. Rude Copper critics authority's disdain and treatment of the underprivileged. 

CND Soldiers

In this painting, Banksy appears to be questioning the role of the military in keeping the peace. Here one soldier is painting a peace sign, while the other watches over ready for violence at any second. 

Banksy's Rude Copper and CND Soldiers. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Banksy's 2003 Anti-War Protest Signs

These Wrong War, No War cardboard protest signs are from the early 2000's. Banksy is a vocal anti-war, anti-violence activist. These signs were used during protests to challenge portrayal of war in a positive light. He is calling out the politicians that were justifying war as a way to establish peace. Adding a pink ribbon to the helicopters is another way that Banksy contrasts the violence of war with childhood innocence.  The smiley face on death is mocking the positive portrayal of war.

Happy Chopper, Wrong War. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Wrong War. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Banksy's Horse Rider in Paris

Banksy's Horse Rider takes the iconic image of Napoleon Crossing the Alps and replaces Napoleon with a lady wearing a red head scarf. The painting appeared in Paris in 2018 and likely represents a few things that Banksy takes issue with like the treatment of immigrants, France's 2010 ban on burkas, and their response to the European Refugee Crisis. He is calling out actions and policies that contradict France's national motto of liberty, equality and fraternity. 

Horse Rider at Banksyland Edmonton. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Banksyland is a Thought Provoking Traveling Art Exhibition.

Seeing and being immersed in Banksy's dark humor and somber imagery at the Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton was thought-provoking to say the least. On the one-hand it would be cool if Edmonton had a Banksy mural. Yet, on the other hand, I am glad that we don't. Because, Banksy's art always has a political message to it. And, it's one that you probably don't want to be on the wrong side of. Never-the-less, I love Banksy's art and enjoyed experiencing the Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton. I am looking forward to one-day seeing an original Banksy on the streets... just in someone else's town.

Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton

Visiting the International Touring Art Show's Only Stop in Alberta Canada


Location (Map)

9660 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB T5H 3V5, Canada
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Comments 3

EH Canada Marketing Group on Friday, 24 November 2023 23:39

I really enjoyed this story about Banksy. Someone who says what many others do not have the courage to say in art.

I really enjoyed this story about Banksy. Someone who says what many others do not have the courage to say in art.
Janet Guthrie on Saturday, 25 November 2023 00:24

Thank you. It was a really interesting show. Banksy sure is courageous, especially when you think about the places he goes to in order to share his message.

Thank you. It was a really interesting show. Banksy sure is courageous, especially when you think about the places he goes to in order to share his message.
Kim Kenyon on Saturday, 02 December 2023 17:35

Thank you so much for profiling this art exhibition, Janet, as I missed it when it was in Vancouver a couple of months ago. You have saved me the exhibition price. Actually, it still remains on my list aa he has an important message to the world, and it would be so interesting to see this in person. Another (of many) interesting artists who has a very dramatic art installation is Yayoi Kusama. I believe her "Infinity Mirrors" is at the Art Gallery of Ontario. We shall have to send Janel happy)

Thank you so much for profiling this art exhibition, Janet, as I missed it when it was in Vancouver a couple of months ago. You have saved me the exhibition price. Actually, it still remains on my list aa he has an important message to the world, and it would be so interesting to see this in person. Another (of many) interesting artists who has a very dramatic art installation is Yayoi Kusama. I believe her "Infinity Mirrors" is at the Art Gallery of Ontario. We shall have to send Janel :(happy)
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