It’s the unexpected that often tricks you. I expected to love London. I expected to love all the things I talked about in this blog post here. What I didn’t expect was to having my eyes opened to seeing art in a brand new way and in places I wouldn’t have expected. Here you are in London with its centuries of history, beautiful public art, and culture galore and what I end up falling in love with is street art. Street art is painted on buildings either with or mostly without permission and therefore it’s largely temporary,and created by artists the average person wouldn’t know.
The tour was advertised as by donation. Tour-goers were told to meet at Spital Market near the statue of the goat. I already felt like I was in an English “who done it” so just finding the goat statue was worth the price of donation.
A group of about 15 of us gathered at the goat when our guide Josh Jeavons arrived. He told us our tour would be 2 hours on foot through the back streets of East London. He would show us not only the street artists of East London but also provide context and history of the area as well as the artist.
There is something irrepressible and yes, beautiful about people expressing themselves artistically in public spaces. About people not going the typical career route of showing their work in curated galleries, in not having to have their art work be permanent but instead be an expression of a moment in time.
I loved the stories behind the pieces and I loved our guides irrepressible love for street art and the artists who create it. When I’m in London next I’m going to do the tour again because a whole other gallery of art will grace the walls of East London. And when I’m in Paris or wherever I am, I’m going to look for this art and these artists. Eyes opened thanks to Alternative London and Josh Jeavons.
Here are some samples from our tour:
And that was near and around Brick Lane.
These two are not:
The best part of this tour is when you looked around, even after 2 hours of walking, there was still so much amazing art to see.
Photos by Dave Vanderkop