Street art – Southbank and Leake St

Monday 05 August 2013 – Waterloo.

The weekend just gone saw the Urban Culture Festival at the Southbank Centre, I had other plans so was unable to turn up on the Saturday and Sunday, though I did go for a quick peek on Friday afternoon, though nothing was happening then. Among other activities there was some street art going on so I arranged to meet fellow appreciator Darryl there today.

I got there a bit early and went to have a look at the skate park to see if there was anything happening, but it was dead. I did find a new painting though.

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Darryl and I started off at the Southbank Centre and a big new work by Stik. Part of the programme at the weekend was Stik giving a street art class, so after he had finished his painting a bunch of people coloured in the figures. It was pretty cool !

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There was some tape art by Ben Murphy.

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Around the back of the centre there was work by a few artists, sadly there was a whole load of work going on there when we arrived and it was really hard to get shots on most of the work and impossible for the large Dr Zadok and Spore mural as it was completely fenced off, with a large truck in front to add to the blockage. We did get to full see this 3Dom piece.

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But the mural by Captain Kris, Spzero76 and Si Mitchell was hard to photograph in its entirety with the Spzero76 section marred by a large open door.

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Dan Kitchener.

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Just like in the Dan Kitchener mural it started to rain as we headed over towards the Leake St tunnel by Waterloo station, thankfully it stopped as we got out onto the road side, though it hammered down later on and I was stuck at Southbank for 30 minutes as I waited for it stop enough to run for a bus.

Leake St tunnel was totally different to last time I was there, and the Lost Souls Crew of Captain Kris, Spzero76 and Si Mitchell had been busy there as well.

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Dr Zadok and Spore had a mural at the end of the tunnel.

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And I also liked these pieces by some artists unknown to me, I am assuming handles.


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It was good to catch up with Darryl and see some new work and we arranged to meet up again tomorrow to see a couple of new works up in Shoreditch – before they were gone…

Street art update

Wednesday 03 July 2013 – London

I took my new bike for a spin on Tuesday and was just riding down City Road when I spotted this Toaster up on a window. Last week I found this video from the creators of Toaster and it is an amusing watch as there are not a lot of Toasters left in London that I can see I was quite pleased to have seen it.  Of course, there are probably thousands of them all over London, I just do not see them!


And this new piece from Phomer.


Today I met a friend who has never been to London before and we took a pretty major walk around town sort of ending with a brief walk around some of the main parts of Shoreditch, as always there were new things to see – or things to find that I had missed before….

Conor Harrington in Whitecross Market.


Dscreet outside the gallery at the Tramshed, I must try and arrive there when the gallery is open as there is an exhibition of Dscreet and Run work that I am quite keen to see – has anyone been yet ?













And another Jana and JS, still looking for more of their new work before it disappears.



Thanks to Inspiring City  for identifying the next two for me.



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Some unknowns.

It would be nice to see some more political stuff around too….




Street Art – Baroque the streets exhibition in London.

Wednesday May 22 2013 – London.

Yep, I am back in London – again and I will do a more general blog post when I have something worth writing about and the photos to prove I have done it.

What I did do last Saturday was attend “Baroque the streets” a street art festival in Dulwich organised by the very worthy Street Art London. The concept behind the exhibition was for a bunch of well-known international street artists to create pieces based on the historical art works housed in the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

El and I had a late start to the day and headed down to Dulwich in the late morning, via a very nice full English breakfast in Islington on the way. It was another cool day in London and I am hanging out for some warmth to kick this rather delayed spring in to life – maybe I have gotten to used to warm days again ? We took the overland train to Denmark Hill and had a nice walk down to East Dulwich where the street art started. We were not aware that there was a street art walk until we had arrived at the exhibition and found a map – but we did see a good section of the work on the way. Starting with these pieces by Remi Rough and System.


Conor Harrington from Ireland


One of my all time favourites, Stik.



Dscreet from Australia.


One of London based South African, Christiaan Nagel’s famous mushrooms.


The bulk of the work was done in a house at 265 Lordship Lane, the house is soon to be demolished and the owners gave permission for the massive artworks to be completed inside and outside the house. It was very cool, but also quite crowded. It was one of the days when I wished I had my big old Canon camera and its wide-angle lens so I could really capture the art on display, but sadly I had not picked it up from my uncle’s house yet.



Israel’s Broken Fingaz crew on the fence outside.


There were a couple of gems in the garden, including these two pieces by My dog sighs, the first one being my favourite in the house.



There were loads of small pieces by Mexico’s Pablo Delgado all over the place, inside and out.


The garage was painted by Malarky.


And the side of the house by Italy’s RUN.



Cityzen Kane had produced a whole series of very cool sculptures, some on a wall under a mushroom.




There was a fabulous piece by Belgium’s ROA above the back door, like the Phlegm pieces I loved the level of detail in the painting.


Dscreet had a piece outside as well as an entire room inside the house.



France’s Thierry Noir was painting in his room.


The Rolling People had a very cool room, but it was really busy in there so I did not get a chance to capture the whole thing.




Christiaan Nagel room, all created with foam.



Some of the many small Pablo Delgado works scattered all over the house.




As well as these phones. I do not know who did these but I really liked them – if you know please let me know too!




Dscreet had obvioulsy visited the bathroom.


The kitchen had some really cool faces by My dog sighs, I have not knowingly seen his stuff before, but I am definitely going to look for some more.




I bought a poster of the event created by RUN, one day I will actually have a wall to hang it on ! We also grabbed a map of the art on the street as I wanted to find the Phlegm piece before we left.

On the street outside the house we found well known chewing gum painter Ben Wilson at work on the street. Ben has been painting chewing gum that has been left on the side walk for many years.



Just round the corner we found the Phlegm on the side of a house. Wonderful as always!



We both really enjoyed the walk and the art, a fantastic idea and I marvel at the talents of these artists. Thanks Street Art London and Dulwich Picture Gallery for putting on this event.

A week of it

Sunday 03 March 2013 – Bristol and London

With my departure from London looming I seem to have become incredibly busy all of a sudden. The ‘things to do’ list seems to grow longer and longer as the time to do them grows shorter and I remember all the things I need to take with me when I travel to rather more tropical climes.

Shorts and t-shirts seem more appropriate in 30+ degree Sri Lanka than the jeans, jackets and scarves that I have here in London Bridge so I took a trip to Dartford to swap winter clothes for summer and catch up with my uncle for a wee while.

On the good news front my lovely daughter Meliesha arrived home from three months travelling in India with her partner – so I took a trip down to Bristol on Tuesday to see them both. They are between homes at the moment and dossing on a friends couch while they hunt for a flat so I ended up staying the night in a ‘cheap’ hotel. It was ab fab to see them both, looking so well and brown and relaxed. As always it was a great time in Bristol and I will miss her when I leave, just as I miss my sons Dom and Aiden now.

The view of the Bear Pit from my hotel stairwell.

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My current favourite street artist is Phlegm, from Sheffield in England, I really like his characters and the level of detail in them, each unique. He has painted a wall in Tangalla in Sri Lanka and I am going to try and find it when I am there. It was great to just come across a wall of his in Bristol’s Stokes Croft.

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Mel, who hates having her photo taken and will hate this even more, sorry!

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Back in London, on Thursday El and I went to see an exhibition of portraits from the photographer David Bailey, he is mainly known for his fashion photography and for images of the rich and famous, however this exhibition focused on some of the work he did in the 60’s in the east end of London where he was brought up. It was really good and I am always amazed at the quality of these old images, especially when we spend so much time these days ‘pixel peeping’ digital images at 400% magnification to look for flaws…

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The exhibition was in the William Morris Gallery in Walthemstow, east London so after the gallery we took a walk around the old part of town; with buildings dating back to the time when it was a small village on the edge of Epping Forest. It constantly, and pleasantly, surprises me that in the middle of so many of these suburbs and suburban towns there is an enclave of ancient and well preserved buildings, with some of them trying to record and maintain the history of the area, just very cool.

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Saturday was a visit to another photo exhibition, I cannot believe how much good quality free art is available in London – if you know where to look of course ! There was an exhibition of work from Norman Parkinson at the National Theatre. Parkinson is a fashion/society photographer who has worked in the industry for decades. There were some great images from across his career, including from the sixties music scene. This is a recent photo of him.



From the exhibition El and I walked a bit of the South Bank


Finally, crossing the Thames to the city side. I have had a look for this bridge leg a few times, it is well known as the final resting place for skateboards that get broken at the South Bank skate park.


Ever since I arrived in England I have been pondering the purchase of a new camera and have had a look at a variety of options as well as brief thoughts about buying an underwater housing to go with a new camera. After a lot of reading on the complexities of underwater photography plus the price tag on a housing I decided to give up on that idea. However, I still wanted a new camera and had been looking at the Panasonic Lumix GX1 – an upgrade on my travel camera the GF1. They were on special so I decided today was the day and dragged El up towards Oxford St so I could go shopping. On the way as we passed through the back of Denmark St I spotted a small Space Invader on a building, these are quite rare and seemingly hard to find, so it was cool to find one.


This was followed by finding a Stik on the back of a building though I was unable to get a clean shot as access was fenced off.


And then another Space Invader – wahoo 🙂 I love it when I unexpectedly come across some street art!


This is my new purchase, the GX1, it looks and feels similar to my GF1 but works totally differently, it took me ages to work out how to change the aperture in manual mode, and I still had to Google it.


I have supported Arsenal Football Club for many years and this year they are playing average at best. Sunday was a season defining game against north London arch rivals Tottenham Hostpsur so I decided I would walk up to Islington – Arsenal homeland, and find a pub to watch the game in. It is not a huge walk from London Bridge, maybe one and half hours – but it does pass through part of Shoreditch so I was looking for opportunities to try the new camera as well.

A bit of the past, present and future. I really like the ‘Gherkin’ it is not as cool as the Shard, but still a dramatic building in the downtown business heart of London.


I walked past the Village Underground building to see the completed wall that Thierry Noir and Stik were painting a few days ago – I wonder how long this wall will last before a new piece is painted on it ?


Thierry had also completed the pieces on the front of the building as well.



As I walked up Great Eastern Rd towards Islington and I found this large Stik on a car park wall, I am getting quite a good collection of Stiks. Admittedly they all look kind of the same, but I still like finding them around the place.


And round the back of the car park I saw these guys finishing off a piece, I do not know who they are though and they were too far away to talk too, but it looks great and I think it is fabulous that some property owners allow, or even commission, artists to paint their walls.



And finally this on a window in City Rd. Possibly the last bit of street art I will see in London this time round, I really like it though.


I made it up to Islington well before the game started so bought a paper – The Observer, and found a seat in a pub for a pint and some lunch. I really like The Observer, a great Sunday read. I will really miss quality English newspapers when I leave – and yes I can read them on line but it is not the same, browsing a paper is the just best way to keep informed on all the random bits of news that I never pick up on on-line.

Anyway, I won’t say anything more about the game other than I and the rest of the jam packed pub left disappointed.

To all the people who read my blog, this message on the back of a sign in Soho Square, says it best.


I have just ‘discovered’ embedding links to other places on the web. I always knew they were there, just have never used them, something I now regret. So very useful.

Street art in action

Wednesday 20 February 2013 – Shoreditch

The past few days had been really quite warm, on Sunday I almost worked up a sweat when I walked into town and at one stage even took my jacket off. This ended today and there was a freezing wind blowing down from the Siberian steppes to remind me that February is still winter in England. It was back to thick jackets, gloves and a scarf when I finally ventured out of the house late in the afternoon.

I had arranged to meet a friend for a curry in Shoreditch; which was extremely convenient as one of my favourite street artists, Stik, was painting a wall very close by…

I decided to walk to Shoreditch as it is only a few kilometres from home and meant I could walk through the old business heart of London around Fenchurch St and Aldgate, an area I had to walk through, unexciting as it was !

But it did allow me to walk through Brick Lane an area I had yet to fully explore for street art. There was plenty to see and a few other people photographing it as well.

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I really like this Jana and JS piece, I am going to have to try and find some more of their work. I have seen two and both are fabulous.

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I love these huge arrows sticking out of the side f the building.

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The walls of the Village Underground are the site of regular organised art works and yesterday and today there was a joint painting project organised by Street Art London. Thierry Noir is a French artist who has been part of the street art scene for decades. He was made famous in the 1980s when he painted large sections of the Western side of the Berlin Wall – at the time a risky business as the East German government were very unhappy with people approaching the wall, from either side. Thierry was joined on this project by one of my favourite English Street artists – Stik. I really like his figures and this one from Brick Lane today is definitely my favourite.

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I stood and watched them paint for a while, had a brief conversation with Stik before moving on to a nice warm curry house for dinner.

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