"FULL STATEMENT ABOUT PAINTING THE TOWN"
On 3rd October 2019, I watched in horror over social media as a commercial range of paints inspired by my artwork
“Painting The Town” was released.
To be clear ”Painting The Town” is a social engaged work that I created after my concept,
which I pitched to LeftCoast, was commissioned by them in 2018.
I watched as friends, family and peers defended me and tried in vain to credit me and my work on posts
which failed to mention that “Painting the Town” was my concept and based on my practice.
They did this while I held my tongue and tried to act in a professional and graceful manner,
however I cannot expect others to do for me something I will not do for myself.
Thank you to those of you who have spoken out on my behalf.
Ten of my paint colours and ten of my stories have been used within that range.
The paint colours have been renamed and placed next to images and branding that anyone
who is familiar with my work would find at odds with my style.
Over the last few weeks as the launch day approached I have been advised by some of my peers that I respect and trust.
My response to the commercialisation of my concept and work is one that I know will affect my career moving forward
and some of them will be disappointed but not surprised that I have chosen to speak out.
Speaking out in this manner will mean I will find it very difficult if not impossible to work professionally again.
It is in my opinion that mistakes were made by both myself and LeftCoast.
I hold my hands up to my part in the situation I now find myself in and hope in time that LeftCoast will do the same.
I did not endorse the commercialisation of “Painting The Town” in this manner, nor did I consent to my work being used in this way.
I believe that LeftCoast have not honoured our contract.
It is my belief that during this process some of the LeftCoast team and partners were not aware of my
feelings on this matter and I am sorry that my actions here today may affect them.
I believe that some of you acted, in what you believed, were my best interests with the limited knowledge you were provided with.
When I learned that the commercialisation of “Painting The Town” was going ahead
I asked LeftCoast to hold off from launching until the issues between us had been resolved.
They did not.
I am in the process of filing a formal grievance about the commercialisation of "Painting the Town" with the LeftCoast Board,
along with a list of requests in the hopes that they will make
the amendments to the range that best fit the wishes of the participants of the commission.
Painting The Town is my love letter to my hometown of Blackpool.
I am sorry I could not protect the participants who so generously and trustingly spoke to me about their lives and memories.
It has been my absolute pleasure and a great privilege that you shared your stories with me.
Within the ten narratives is my own story, one I have carried with me and waited twenty years to tell.
The commission is still yet to be exhibited in its original form.
Finally I want to say that Blackpool is a unique and extraordinary place, a home for many hardworking, resilient people.
You cannot pay for that sort of connection with our town and people.
You have to earn it.
Thank you for reading,
Laura Shevaun Green.