When Adidas wanted to create a mural to illustrate the launch of its new football boot last year, it turned to “professional graffiti artist” Darren Cullen for help. Cullen, 38, runs a firm providing spraycan artwork and branding to major international companies, and says he has never painted illegally on a wall or train.
But despite having worked with one of the Games’s major sponsors, on Tuesday Cullen was arrested by British Transport Police (BTP) and barred from coming within a mile of any Olympic venue, as part of a pre-emptive sweep against a number of alleged graffiti artists before the Olympics.
BTP confirmed that four men from Kent, London and Surrey, aged between 18 and 38, had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage, two of whom were also further arrested on suspicion of incitement to commit criminal damage.
They were bailed until November under strict conditions restricting their access to rail, tube and tram transport, preventing them from owning spray paint or marker pens, and ordering them not to go near any Olympic venue in London or elsewhere. None has been charged.
Google and the London-based Saatchi Gallery have teamed up on a student photography contest. Winners receive phone swag and inclusion in a Saatchi exhibition. The grand prize winner gets to choose a photo trip anywhere in the world accompanied by a photography coach.
The contest is open to university students around the world (some exceptions apply, see google.com/photographyprize for more details). From far-away places to up-close faces, there are 10 different categories to spark your imagination. And there are some great prizes to be won: 10 finalists chosen by a jury of renowned photographers will show their work at Saatchi Gallery, London for two months in 2012 alongside Out of Focus, a major photography exhibition, and win a trip to London to attend the exhibition opening event with a friend. One winner will go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to an amazing destination with a professional photography coach.
The competition site with instructions is here. Categories include fashion, travel, food, action and street among others. Deadline for submissions is January 31.