@background_bob and his amazing friends…back again!

Exhibitions: FREE

@background_bob and his amazing friends…back again!


Saturday 01 April - Sunday 08 October 2023

Luke Smile @lukesmile91

Wrdsmith @wrdsmith

Grayson Perry

Ed Sheeran & Lyra @teddysphotos

Heath Kane @byheathkane

Joe Lycett @joelycett

Johnman @johnmanspraycan

Popluluxe @populuxe_

Rust Bucket Workshop @rust_bucket_workshop

Essex artist @background_bob returns to Firstsite for his third energetic and uplifting exhibition.

‘Back again!’ features over 270 collaborative artworks created by @background_bob with leading international street and graffiti artists including Mr Doodle, Shepard Fairey and Wrdsmith, other big names such as Grayson Perry, Ed Sheeran and Phill Jupitus and a range of artists and contributors from around the world.

Vibrant fantastical landscapes, intricate studies of animals and wildlife, portraits of legendary musicians including Dave Grohl and David Bowie, and Queen Elizabeth feature in the artworks alongside abstract pieces and portraits of the young artist himself. Each artwork features a vibrant background painted by @background_bob. 

Alongside @background_bob’s trademark cardboard artworks, there are also sculptures, including a small robot-like figure created from household objects by Rust Bucket Workshop and aluminium can artworks created by Me Lata. 

 ‘Back again!’ is the final exhibition of a project created by the Colchester-based artist Noah AKA @background_bob and his step-dad Nathan.

During the first COVID-19 lockdown, Noah and his stepdad Nathan began a collaborative painting project via social media, asking artists and keyworkers across the world to paint their chosen subject over a background Noah created. Noah and Nathan used materials they had to hand, Noah painting onto A4 sized pieces of cardboard that were easy to send and receive in the post.

Firstsite hosted an exhibition of these artworks in Autumn 2020, with over 240 artists taking part. And such was the success that Noah and Nathan did it again in 2021 with the exhibition ‘guess who’s back!

The artworks in both exhibitions were auctioned, raising over £147,500 for Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity.

The artworks in ‘Back again!’ will also be auctioned on eBay to raise more funds for Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity.

A catalogue featuring all of the artworks from this third instalment of the project is available to purchase from the Firstsite shop. Proceeds from sales of the book will go help raise money for Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity and Firstsite

For more information on the auction, follow @background_bob on Instagram.


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Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

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