12ozProphet Exclusive Interview with the Founder of Ground Release
Founded just over a year ago, Ground Release is an organization based in London that brings together some of the most innovative and progressive graffiti writers from around the world, facilitating walls, exhibitions, and commercial projects. 12ozProphet reached out to the founder of Ground Release with some questions about their philosophy and future. Coincidentally, he was already in the midst of a similar conversation with our friend at Spray Beast, one of the best graffiti blogs out of the UK, or anywhere for that matter. Scroll down to read the full interview exclusively on 12ozProphet.
How did the project come to reality and what was the initial vision of the project?
The tipping point of the project was on a visit to Asia, on return from China I had a vision to create an event, I wasn’t sure what it was going to be or how big. I then developed the idea of a global network of artists which led to the creation of the project.
Ground Release was originally born out of a limitation that I observed in graffiti, I wanted to provide more opportunities to a growing selection of dedicated artists creating a wider platform for international development. “Ground” representing the limitation of the art form and lack of opportunities, “Release” represents our effort to expose and empower the artist leading to better opportunities.
With hard work and dedication we have managed to solidify a platform in the international graffiti movement. Watching this initial vision manifest has been interesting, our directions are changing all the time, opening up new opportunities for artists, businesses and a global audience to engage with the artists. The project in itself is very flexible, there are no real boundaries. Ground Release is a progressive platform, enabling us to work in different fields such as print, graphic design, illustration, film, expositions, large-scale outdoor work, the list goes on.
Ground Release is based on creating to inspire, with an intension to influence as well as push highly evolved approaches even further. We encourage new approaches and experiments to further the development of the art form. We embrace and celebrate diversity and originality, fusing old , new, establish and upcoming talent to form a cohesive dynamic integrated creative platform. We are NOT a writer team. We are a growing network of individuals, each representing a nation that has contributed to the on going graffiti movement.
Ground Release projects are held in high regard for its approach and professionalism. How do you structure the organization?
Ground Release has a solid foundation similar to the structure and formation of the pieces on a chess board. Each person plays a key roll no matter how big or small their contribution is the to project they still hold significant value.
Ground Release is built on an understanding and respect for each other. To have established and upcoming talents working together is important in the dynamics of the project. The key is development and moving forward with progressive forms of visual language and unique ways of expressing it.
In terms of projects, we don’t jump into anything we don’t feel will be delivered to a high standard. The credibility and values of the project always come first.
How do you see the graffiti movement as a whole on an international level?
Our generation is playing a significant and important roll in future development of the culture, there are only a handful of trending artists and we are lucky enough to have a few on our roster. It’s very interesting to see the rapid evolution and the merger between the different artistic movements that is taking place right now. It’s a melting pot of all sorts of influences, the diversification makes it even more interesting from an observers perspective.
Apart from the global economic situation in recent years, a lot of doors have opened for public art. It’s good to see that there are more opportunities and projects for artists gaining international notoriety.
What artists do now is going to have a big effect on how graffiti is seen in the future, the same way New York gave birth to the traditional style. Other countries are now building their own codes and methods which will in turn influence and inspire future generations.
Your project consist of a range of artists from around the world, how do you pick these artist and why?
Currently we represent over 15 nationalities, our expanding global creative network is a symbol of the value of diversity. The correlation between artists and projects has to balance so we are putting a lid on it for now, but the artist network is something that will continue to expand as far as the project does.
When we select artists we focus on the versatility of the individual, we mainly support cross over artists that have the capability to work in different domains. That’s important to us as a multidisciplinary organization.
For the last year we have also been facilitating bookings for events around the world. Giving our artists opportunities to travel, explore and showcase their work in different countries.
Is there a longterm goal from Ground Release and do you have any particular direction you want to follow?
We have many goals, like any other organization. There are lots of things we want to get into, time will tell if we can manage them all. There are some core rules that we follow, we want to remain independent and pursue credible projects with solid collaborations and high level outcomes. Ground Release is built from the roots up and we will alway stay true to that.
We can’t determine the future but we will do our best to keep our independent profile and work with organizations that have the same values as us.
Are there any projects on the horizon you can share with us?
We have just released a limited edition print project named “Print Sessions” which will be our main focus for 2013. Series one is available now online.
2013 is looking good, with some projects already taking shape we are looking forward to some special collaborations. Not much more can be said right now, anyone thats interested can follow the progress through our website, facebook and instagram.
Text: Spray Beast