Sheffield graffiti artists are hoping to hit the record books with the largest indoor painted mural on earth – and the first ever ‘selfie’ centre.
The Speakbook Art and Selfie Exhibition was the brainchild of former surgeon, now entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr David Thomas and features 20 artists from Sheffield.
The mural has turned every inch of a creative space on Snig Hill into graffiti world tour, which is ordered by how important the country’s language is in the world of business.
There are 19 rooms, each representing a different country.
Unusually, there are 24 selfie opportunities throughout the tour, including: a guillotine, a Vietnamese prison cage, medieval stocks, glowing plutonium and spy James Bond.
Perhaps the most bizarre opportunity comes in the form of a Japanese toilet – which encourages people to drop their trousers and have their heart monitored for abnormalities.
David said: “This will be the biggest painted mural on earth – and it will be in Sheffield.
“The world has never seen a selfie centre either, so we’re proud that Sheffield has it first.”
David said the current world record for an indoor painted mural is held by China and measures 906 square metres.
He said: “Our mural will be 1,680 metres squared and Guinness are sniffing about. It’d be amazing to get the record.”
David said that he expects visitors to the exhibition – which will be running through January – will takes tens of thousands of selfies.
“We will be encouraging people to send selfies taken here back to make another piece of art,” said David.
“In the meantime, we’ll just blow Instagram to pieces with them all.”
He said it was a celebration of street art, an introspective look at selfie culture, but also raised the importance of children learning languages early.
David, who studied to become a doctor at The University of Sheffield, said: “To be successful now and in the future, it is vital that we learn different languages.
“Not only is this vital for business, but it’s the only way different cultures will fully understand each other.
“When we finally understand one another, maybe we will have a peaceful world.”
He said the exhibition has been a good way to show the talent of underground artists in Sheffield.
“This exhibition is a good way to show that graffiti artists aren’t drug-addled vandals,” said David.
“There is some serious talent on display.”
The event has been curated by Sheffield film company Two Step Productions.
This is the company’s first foray into the world of art exhibitions.
Oliver Dartnell Machin, co-director of Two Step Productions, alongside pal David Richards, said: “When we first met Dr Thomas we thought he was completely mad.
“Then you realise the guy is a genius, but just needs people on hand to channel his creative flow.”
He added: “It’s been brilliant working with all the artists too. The mural looks amazing and I’m sure people will love it.
“Throw in a well-stocked bar and people really are in for a unique, alternative, totally mad selfie snapping experience this festive period.”
Artists involved in the project include: Eugene Booms; Pawski; Jamie Wainwright (Shoe 2); Neil Antcliffe (Foundry); Leigh Stanford Redhead (Trick 09); Ben Gourvenec; Amber Hood-Blour; Joanne Slack.
The exhibition opens today (Saturday) at 6pm in creative space at 24-26 Snig Hill.
It will be running throughout January and is free to attend.
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