‘I want to change how people think about graffiti’ – Street artist Gnasher has designs on making his mark in Royston

David Nash with his artwork.

David Nash with his artwork. - Credit: Archant

An urban artist – dubbed the town’s Banksy – has been causing a stir in Royston with his designs, but has had to settle for painting in his back garden as he doesn’t currently have permission to make his mark anywhere in the town.

David Nash's tiger cub painting attracted lots of attention on Facebook.

David Nash's tiger cub painting attracted lots of attention on Facebook. - Credit: Archant

David Nash moved to the area from Norwich in July last year, and has continued to work full-time as an artist, being commissioned to make bespoke art for customers under his tag-name ‘Gnasher’.

“I have been painting since 1987 – and now it’s my full-time profession.

“I did street art when I was younger and then studied art and graphic design and worked in graphic design in London.

“In 2009, a friend gave me a can of spray paint and said we should go out, well this has taken off from there – I was hooked once again.”

“I’m not able to put my designs on walls around the town, so I’m building my own ‘walls’ at the moment.

“I want to change how people think about street art – graffiti isn’t horrible, and it shouldn’t be a dirty word, it should be celebrated.”

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The 43-year-old lives with his wife of 10 years, Jenny and their son Dani, seven, who he describes as his protégé and has featured in some of his creations.

“I would love to get my work around Royston and get the town on the map,” he said.

David is certainly in demand, having completed work for top names and firms including Xbox, Ricky Gervais, Ford, West Ham Utd, Sigma, Public Enemy, Ian Wright and Woburn Safari Park. Pop superstar Justin Bieber has also posed with one of his pieces.

He has been compared to Banksy, and while he appreciates what the anonymous street artist does, he said he’s not a massive fan.

“Banksy has a good message, but he could put more into his work,” said David.

David’s art varies in how long it takes depending on the size, but the tiger cub, which has been liked on the Royston Reporting Facebook Page more than 500 times, took a couple of afternoons.

Mayor Of Royston Town Council, Councillor Sarah Dingley, told the Crow: “There are a couple of spaces in town which could really benefit from a bit of colour.

“The Coombes underpass is a possibility, but it’s about having the funding and the maintenance in place, because there are concerns that people would ruin it – like the vandal who took the crow from the tree in town.

“Its also an issue of making stakeholders agree. I’m the vice chair of Creative Royston, and we have them on board. I think David’s work is beautiful, as is other local artists’ work like Stacey Leigh. If something is that beautiful, you’d hope people wouldn’t ruin it.”

For more on David’s work search ‘Gnasher Graffiti Murals’ on Facebook, or see his website www.gnashermurals.com.