Just a few hours after the renowned local artist John Bulley created a breathtaking portrait of David Bowie on a disused phone in Alexandra Road in Southend, members of the official local art organisation Southend Collective of Artistic Talent have demanded that it is removed – a statement accuses the artist of creating the artwork without following the official application measures that are put in place by Southend Council. However, Mr Bulley has confirmed that he has no intention of removing his masterpiece, while a critic has vowed that they would feel the same way if ‘Banksy himself tried to pull the same stunt in our town.’

The statement read: ‘Once again, a talented member of the so-called Estuary Fringe Festival has taken it upon himself to create a piece of artwork without approaching the council for permission, while law-abiding people like ourselves submit the lengthy paperwork in a timely manner for everything from wall murals to decorative thimbles on pavement-facing windowsills – this is simply an outrage! The whole point of setting up Southend Collective of Artistic Talent was to make sure that all art in our town could be controlled by a single, centrally-controlled organisation for the good of everyone in the town, and unfortunately Mr Bulley has decided to ‘go rogue’ and ruin it for everyone else.’

Leigh restaurant owner Leviathan Montrose-Nash is the chief executive of Southend Collective of Artistic Talent, and he admitted that he is still ‘shaking with rage’ after seeing the Bowie artwork. He said: ‘Why on earth do business owners like myself put hundreds or even thousands of pounds into official art organisations, only to see independently-thinking individuals like Mr Bulley just come along and take a figurative dump all over the rules? I have now instructed my lawyers to act and therefore will make no further comment at this time.’


  1. Well done the EFF! I would gladly make a phone call in a dodgy street in Southend, with the effargy of a camp OAP icon on the outside. C’mon Southend council, wake up?