Photography and story by Mahaneela Choudhury-Reid
Project 1324 teamed up with Mahaneela Choudhury-Reid, @FoxyNeela on Instagram, to explore the impact of London’s vibrant street art scene.
1: London’s street art is a growing movement that started in the 1980s. It has helped shape many of the public spaces we’ve come to know in the city today. Art in London is used as a tool of expression that speaks volumes of the sentiment in the communities that inhabit those spaces, and this has always been what has defined the city of London, making it the diverse and cultural hub it is today. This piece, “Open Borders” by Greek artist This Is Opium, is an example of the kind of expression you can now find on the streets of London. A hopeful message that reflects a political issue affecting a capital that at times, can be quite the opposite.
2: The boldest of street art can be seen (in my opinion) in Shoreditch, home to the creative hub of the capital. The diversity of the art reflects that of the area, with pieces from international artists to be seen on every corner, such as Hunto, Pixel Pancho, Said Dokins, Dale Grimshaw and more. This piece is by renowned artist Camille Walala, the French born designer who is known for her instantly recognizable geometric aesthetic, one that resonates with the spirit of Shoreditch.
3: Just like the street art communities that have grown and developed all over Europe and the rest of the world, street art has built a community around the artwork, enlivening the city with a movement to create more spaces for legal street art. This piece on a building site hoarding is by a collective of Mexican artists, including Cix Mugre, Spike, Spaik & Libre HEM.
4: London has a large role to play in the street art scene, home to many talented artists and creatives, as well as being a destination for artists all over the world. While space for art is limited, in a grey city like London, colourful street art can totally transform a building or street, having a positive effect on the people who live in the community, and those that interact with the space every day. This piece is by Finnish street artist Salla Ikonen who created this piece for the homeless living in London.
5: Most people associate street art with tagging, however the beauty of it is that it can be almost anything. An artist can create a whole new world through their work, and invite the community to step into it. Street artists have a unique role in the creative community, being publicly silent (for the most part) artists who let their art speak to the community. The encouragement of creativity within public space is a source of inspiration for those that see it.
6: London is not only a hub for visual artists, but for creators of all disciplines. This mural, depicting a David Bowie inspired character, highlights how the many cultural elements of the creative scene in London can overlap and inspire each other. From musicians, to architects, designers and street artists alike, it’s clear, London continues to be a home for creatives.
See more on Mahaneela’s photography on Instagram.