I have only once before seen work by Apparan and that was on a collaborative gate piece at Upfest last year with Jelly. Finding this piece on a work trip to London was therefore a real treat. The portrait is really beautifully done, although the hair looks a little more abstract than the rest of the portrait.
There is a lot of depth in the piece, and the shadows around the lady’s neck are very nicely painted. I also really like the leaf print dress, and the folds in the material. There is something very summery about the piece, augmented by the verdant mini-meadow in front of it. Wonderful work from Apparan.
What finer subjects for street art than Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble? I have seen a few pieces by Eyesaw at festivals in Bristol and Cheltenham, and his work plays on the concept of 3D images that can be viewed using blue and red 3D spectacles. However, I don’t have a pair and am not convinced these pieces work, but are illustrative only, to create an effect.
The piece also includes some pixelation and glitching, creating the illusion of being a video piece. I rather like the anarchic touch where these two, usually harmless characters, are wielding a baseball bat with nails and a Molotov cocktail. Great fun from Eyesaw.
A super-quick one this morning… lots of housework to do. Tomorrow is my wife’s 60th birthday, and we are having a small family gathering. Our house has been a bit of a tip, so we have spent the last week or so cleaning and clearing. Lots more to do today!
As I mentioned in yesterday’s Roo piece, where there is one of hers, a SkyHigh piece is never far away, and this stunner was on the next but one board. Both of these pieces looked relatively fresh, which can’t be said for some of the pieces on these hoardings. This one from SkyHigh is typically brilliant and beautifully designed. Still more to come from this London honeypot.
Probably the last thing I was expecting to see on my work trip to London a couple of weeks back was this remarkably busy piece by Bristol’s Sled One. Finding it gave me a feeling of warm familiarity and a sense of Bristol pride. Unfortunately, there was some construction work going on around this panel, so the photographs are not as good as I’d like.
The letters spell out SLED and there is a numeral ‘1’ at the end. The scene is a basketball game, although I am not quite sure what the significance of that might be. To the right is a curious skeletal character, and the whole thing is typically Sled Oney surreal. What a discovery. what a day!
Although Woskerski is a London-based artist, he is not a complete stranger to the pages of Natural Adventures, and indeed he visited for last year’s Upfest 2022, with an outstanding piece that I have yet to publish. I would place Woskerski in the very highest echelons of street artists in the UK.
This is another piece from my surprise discovery of the Lighthouse Community Garden in Stratford, with plenty more to follow. Although the portrait piece looks pretty fresh, it was actually painted in July last year, and you can see in this clip how he went about it. Outstanding stuff from a brilliant artist, and another reason why my trip to London was so special.
I will be posting pieces from this remarkable spot, which I found quite by accident when visiting London for a work workshop, over the coming weeks. Some of the artists were familiar to me, and some not. This stunning piece falls into the latter category.
The origami swan held together by paper clips is by Airborne Mark, and is a really beautifully painted piece. The artist had created a fabulous sense of depth with fabulous use of shadows, light and shading. Adding in the paper clips elevates the piece from being great to fantastic… imagine it without them. I have never come across Airborne Mark before, but I really think we ought to get him over to Bristol at some point, maybe for Upfest?
I ran a workshop on Thursday in a fabulous little venue in Stratford, a part of London that has undergone an extraordinary amount of development before, during and since the London Olympic. The Lighthouse Community Garden is the last undeveloped space in the Area and demonstrates how valuable community green space is. It is there at the mercy of developers, and will eventually be swallowed up by concrete and glass as yet another unaffordable housing project gets the go ahead, for buy-to-letters to make a killing, exploiting underpaid workers of London.
* since Covid-19 I am much more aware of people around me who might be sick and spreading their infection. I simply don’t understand why people don’t stay at home, or at the very least carry some tissues with them. It is about manners and new norms, but some people (the one sitting behind me) simply don’t care.
This was an unexpected and most welcome surprise, discovered while walking to Vauxhall tube station after attending a large team meeting at the Oval in London recently. Because of who I am, I always have an eye out for anything even slightly resembling graffiti or street art wherever I go. It must be most annoying for the people I am with, that I might appear to be distracted or uninterested. The truth is that I am always looking, searching for the ‘out of the ordinary’ whether that be street art or architecture and the like.
The extra surprise was that this stencil piece of Ian Dury is by Bristol’s Stewy, and I felt rather at home finding it. My colleagues weren’t particularly interested, which was regrettable, in fact I think they found my desire to investigate and photograph the piece a little weird.
Although I was never much of a fan of Ian Dury, his impact on the music scene was undeniable and his subversive glance at society certainly chimes for me. The significance of the location of this stencil is that The Cricketers pub was a venue at which Ian Dury and the Blockheads played some of their early gigs. The venue is now a shuttered and disused building, but one with a great history. Thank you Stewy for making my day in London.
Doors 209 – Doors of Westminster with blue plaques
I am having a break from Croatia doors today, but will return to them next time.
I had a meeting in Westminster last week, and as always when I am there I took a few door photographs (some might say I am obsessive, I prefer to think that I am curious and interested). When I was downloading the pictures, I noticed that there were a few blue plaques adjacent to the doors and decided to do a themed set of doors this week.
I start with a notorious building, 55 Tufton Street, which is the geographical hub for a raft of right wing “think tanks”. I have stressed the name think tank, because it is a term used to give some kind of credibility to organisations with strong agendas who disproportionately influence government policy. These organisations, such as the Taxpayer’s Alliance, the Centre for Policy Studies, Institute for Economic Affairs, The Free Market Forum, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (climate change denial group) and the Adam Smith Institute, are not remotely transparent and their funding cloaked in secrecy and yet they have extraordinary power over our right wing politicians. 55 Tufton Street is known as the birthplace of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget that crashed the economy.
So what does this have to do with blue plaques? Well, a left-leaning campaigning organisation called “Led by Donkeys” pulled off a stunt about 4 months ago in which they erected an enormous blue plaque on the front of the building stating “The UK Economy was Crashed Here”, and they filmed the whole thing, describing what happens behind the doors of 55 Tufton Street and the influence it has over our current Tory Government. You can watch the YouTube video here, and if you are interested in UK politics I cannot recommend it enough.
Other blue plaque doors I encountered follow:
This one was the home of Sir John Gielgud, one of our great actors and luvvy, whose acting career spanned 70 years. I once named a fish (a tilapia) after him.
This next place was the home of The Lord Reith, who established the tradition of independent public service broadcasting in the UK
Finally this building was the home of TE Lawrence, known as Lawrence of Arabia, who was played by the magnificent Peter O’Toole in the film of the same name.
Lots of links and reading in this post for those with the time, and some nice pictures for those with less time. May I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.
If you have made it this far, you probably like doors, and you really ought to take a look at the No Facilities blog by Dan Anton who has taken over the hosting of Thursday Doors from Norm 2.0 blog. Links to more doorscursions can be found in the comments section of Dan Anton’s Thursday Doors post.