One of the pleasures of writing about street/graffiti art and seeking out new sites is finding something there that you recognise. Feeling knowledgeable about something is very empowering and comforting, and we could all do with a bit of empowering and comfort from time to time. For me this happened when I saw this Chinagirl Tile piece in Leake Street just before Christmas.
I have always had a soft spot for her work, and this very dangerous bunny is one of my favourite tiles she has produced. There is one in Bristol that I blogged about last year. I noticed that of the numerous ‘street art tourists’ who entered the tunnel from this entrance, none that I saw stopped or appeared to notice this rabbit, such was their eagerness to descend into the bowels of Leake Street. For me, street art is not just about the blindingly obvious, it is about subtlety, style, class and placement, much of which is lost on many people. This links to a theme I have mentioned many times in Natural Adventures, and that is that many of us look, but don’t see. Look harder and you might see a rabbit clutching a grenade. Watch out!
Over the Christmas break, I took a train from Waterloo to Woking to visit the inlaws. I allowed myself some extra time to take a quick look at the graffiti art in Leake Street tunnel which runs under Waterloo Station. There was a great deal of wildstyle writing which I was not familiar with – London art is still a bit of a mystery to me – but I did recognise a couple of pieces by Sky High, of which this is one.
I know his work from visits he has made to Bristol in the past to Moon Street, Magdalen Place and Dean Lane. The piece features his characteristic block lettering in multiple styles and a curious snake at the left hand end. I have to say I am not sure about the snake, it is incongruous and I think the piece would be better without it. Maybe that is just me though.
Having recently posted about Elvs, I thought I would dig out more of his work from my files, and this beautiful piece was in St Werburghs tunnel back in May 2016. He really does have a wonderfully ornate style, but he keeps his lettering even in height, so the whole piece could fit into a rectangular surround.
I really like the way that he has replicated the pattern in the top part of the ‘e’ and the top part of the ‘s’, which I think is a trademark feature of his work. There is also a cheeky little one-eyed pyramid poking out of the top of the piece. This is really superb wildstyle writing.
I took this picture way back in June 2016 before I knew who it was by. I liked it at the time – I don’t photograph everything I see, and many pieces don’t make it into this blog…I have a little bit of editorial control. It is of course by Hire, and shows his trademark jagged Gothic form.
There is a symmetry to this piece, and if you look closely, you will be able to make out the letters HIRE. Nice one.
Pretty much without exception, all of Laic217’s pieces harbour menace to a greater or lesser extent. Even though much of his work is weird, and he specialises in facial distortions, this one is weirder than most.
The fly is grotesque – a bluebottle of sorts. An interesting thing going on is the ‘fly’ is feeding on what looks like a steaming poo which makes up the numbers 217. I hope this is a joke and not some subconscious self-esteem issue.
Even though the image is quite disgusting, you really have to admire a creature of horror movie proportions wearing a bucket hat with a smiley on it. Acid wins the day. A trippy piece?
It seems that street/graffiti artists tend to have peaks and troughs in their activity. I suppose that, like the rest of us, life, jobs, family and so on just get in the way a bit. I introduce this piece with this observation because Sled One, who was extremely productive last year, seems to be a little quieter. This may just be a false perception, and I am not seeing his stuff as much as I used to – I might be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This is of the usual high standard that Sled One attains, it appears, with such ease. This wildstyle writing is so very easy on the eye, like much of his work. I particularly like the ‘accent’ lines he uses to emphasise the letters or that wisp around the piece giving it a sense of animation. I will not tire of his outstanding work.
This is another quick piece by Whysayit at one end of the tunnel in St Werburghs. I can’t believe that I missed this when I went in to photograph pieces in the tunnel, and it wasn’t until I came out again that this caught my eye.
I really do like his style of graffiti art, the way he disguises his letters (YSAE) with curvy shapes and the colours he uses and the outlines to his pieces. I am also rather fond of his tagging, which is peculiar, because as a rule I dislike tagging. All in all a nice piece here.