Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 13:02 UK

Tunnel becomes Banksy art exhibit

Woman photographs Banksy tunnel artwork

A disused road tunnel in south London has been turned into a giant exhibition space by graffiti artist Banksy.

Murals in the Bristol artist's famous stencil style appear with work by 29 other artists in a half-mile stretch of the tunnel in Leake Street, Waterloo.

Images of Madonna kissing Britney Spears and a hoodie appear alongside installations of crashed cars.

People can add their own stencil work to the tunnel walls in a three-day exhibition, opening on Saturday.

Reclusive artist Banksy kept the tunnel's location secret until Friday morning.

'Filth pit'

He said the exhibition, known as the Cans Festival, aimed to "transform a dark forgotten filth pit" into "an oasis of beautiful art".

"I've always felt anyone with a paint can should have as much say in how our cities look as architects and ad men," Banksy said.

The installations will be removed after the event but Banksy said he hoped the murals and graffiti would become permanent part of the tunnel.

They also include images of a girl holding flowers, London Bridge, the Queen and Boris Johnson.

An installation depicts a burnt-out car crashed into a tree while another stencil spells out: "Hey Banksy - why don't you return my emails?"

In recent years his work has grown in popularity, with Brad Pitt and Christina Aguilera listed among celebrity collectors.

In January a piece of his graffiti in Portobello Road, west London - which shows a painter finishing off the word "Banksy" - attracted a bid of 208,100 in an online auction.

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Graffiti artist Banksy has taken over a railway tunnel in London, where along with street artist from around the world he aims to create his largest exhibitions.




SEE ALSO
Banksy artwork to stay uncovered
05 Mar 08 |  Merseyside
208,100 eBay bid for Banksy wall
14 Jan 08 |  Entertainment
Artist Banksy 'captured in photo'
31 Oct 07 |  Bristol/Somerset

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