Featured Image for In London, there’s now a mural of the Royal Family as ABBA
Art

In London, there’s now a mural of the Royal Family as ABBA

British street artist Bambi has unveiled a new mural that celebrates two things she loves: the recent Royal Wedding and the upcoming return of ABBA.

The artwork, called Royals with ABBATUDE, depicts the young British royals as members of the Swedish band ABBA. Catherine Middleton is imagined as Agnetha Fältskog, Prince William as Björn Ulvaeus, Prince Harry as Benny Andersson, and Meghan Markle as Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

The two couple are standing under the Royal Crest, which has been re-worked as ‘MSH’. A playful take on HRH (Her Royal Highness), MSH stands for ‘Make Shit Happen’, which Markle said was her nickname for getting stuff done.

According to Bambi, the mural serves as her tribute to Harry and Meghan’s special day, as well as a celebration of ABBA’s return after a 35-year hiatus.

Royals with ABBATUDE is about the impact the four young royals – William, Kate, Harry and Meghan – are having on people, making them fall in love with the royal family all over again by being accessible, modern and pretty damn awesome,” she said.

“They are blowing the cobwebs away from the establishment.

Bambi added: “The kind of instantaneously joyous effect that ABBA has on people is also something the four young Royals are having by joining together, breaking rank with some of the more stuffy and archaic royal tradition.

“In doing so, they are touching people’s hearts and souls like Princess Diana did before them. They form an awesome foursome – the ‘Super Troopers’ of the Royal Family.”

Bambi’s previous work also referenced the Royal Family. The piece, entitled You can be as naughty as you like, but don’t get caught, depicted Princess Diana as Mary Poppins. It was put up on 30 August 2017, a day before the 20-year anniversary of her death.

We spoke to Bambi to find out more about her and her work. Check it out:

Tell us a little about your background – what path led you to becoming a street artist, and to doing what you’re doing today?

“Bambi was a nickname used by my father, short for ‘Bambino’. It’s now the pseudonym I use as my street artist’s tag.

“I’m a London based street artist who studied fine art at Saint Martin’s School of Art. I found the white walls to exhibit my works within conventional galleries not only stuffy, but they limited my audience to only gallery-goers.

“My art hopefully speaks to the general public – I’m aiming to entertain, provoke and inspire them. I have the freedom to express myself in a spontaneous and direct way.

“What could be better than a public space of your choice to share your creativity to the masses with? Unlike advertising companies who spend millions on billboards to sell us products, I’m using these walls to spread the love.”

How would you describe your work?

“My work is social commentary with a humorous twist. Made from detailed hand-drawn, hand-cut stencils, I use spray paint and sometimes mixed-media collage. I strive for visual simplicity, but this comes from proofing the stencils and distilling the lines to almost abstraction.

“My inspiration is taken from everywhere – from the person on the bus to the person running the country. My works focus on contemporary female identity and its relationship to patriarchal culture. I have highlighted political and social injustices in lots of my work.”

Please take us through the making-of Royals with ABBATUDE. What materials did you use? How long did it take to create?

“I was in a bar in Shoreditch, ABBA was playing on the radio and I watched the entire bar start dancing and singing along to the words. The kind of instantaneously joyous effect that ABBA has on people is also something the four young Royals are having by joining together, breaking rank with some of the more stuffy and archaic royal tradition.

“In doing so, they are touching people’s hearts and souls like Princess Diana did before them. They form an awesome foursome – the ‘Super Troopers’ of the Royal Family.

“While working on the piece, I was happy to hear that ABBA is making a comeback after 35 years. In December, the band will release two new songs recorded for a TV special called per Deadline. Formed in 1972, the band broke up a decade later, but their music has remained popular throughout the world.

“I’ve been a huge ABBA fan for most of my life and I’m hoping this artwork will make people smile. I felt it captures the celebratory mood of the royal wedding in what could be described as uncertain times for the people of the UK.

“It took a couple of months from the idea to the actual piece going up on the street.

“No permission was granted to use the wall, so I had to build a cover that looked like a builder’s hut and work behind it wearing a hard hat! I started at 1am and it took five hours to complete, mainly because the four stencils interlock and are very fragile.

“Additionally, being in an enclosed restricted space (the builder’s tent) made the spraying process much more intense and slow. I had two friends on Walkie-Talkies looking out for any possible police or any potential risks.

“I could hear them saying, ‘hurry up, we want McDonald’s’.”

We just have to know: what did you love most about the Royal Wedding?

“The people watching, celebrity watching, even the pompous ceremony. I loved the preacher preaching for longer than was expected and the bemused, baffled side-glances the royal family were giving each other.

“I also loved the gospel choir juxtaposed with the traditional British stuffiness. And the sweet kiss between Harry and Meghan on the steps – who doesn’t love a bit of romance?”

What’s next for you?

“I obviously want to save the planet and prevent all wars. And to stop this wave of so-called postcode gang violence sweeping our streets in the UK.

“I also want to continue to spray on big blank walls – thought-provoking images that will hopefully make people (even just one person) smile and question the status quo.

“I believe human beings are all born good. It’s just sometimes our journeys will damage us and it’s only opportunity and love that can change the outcome.

“Street art isn’t snobby; it speaks to the person on the street. It’s an incredible opportunity to spread some love and positive vibes to what is sometimes a soulless urban environment.

“I’ve got some new artworks in the concept stage, so watch out for a Bambi piece on a wall near you!”

To find out more about Bambi and her work, you can head on over here.

Leave a comment