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More from Emma Bryning

Dulwich Outdoor Gallery, Street Art, London

The Dulwich Outdoor Gallery is a unique London street art project which was started by the late Ingrid Beazley, art museum curator and art educator, in collaboration with the street artist Stik. In 2011, Beazley invited Stik to the Dulwich Picture Gallery, where she worked in the education department, and they decided to create a project that would try to break the barriers between urban art and street art. Stik subsequently created six murals at various locations in Dulwich re-imagining the art from the permanent collection of Baroque Old Masters in the gallery. Beazley and Stik later organised the Baroque Streets festival in 2013 where street artists from around the world were invited to choose a painting from the gallery collection and interpret it in their own style on one of the chosen walls near the gallery, recreating the Old Masters on the streets. Beazley and Stik hoped that the project would bring the collection of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, the oldest art museum in England, to a wider audience whilst also introducing those unfamiliar with urban art to the street art genre. 

The History of Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel

Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel, found underneath the platforms and tracks of Waterloo Station, is London’s largest legal graffiti wall at 300-metres in length. The site gained fame after famed British street artist, Banksy, held a street art festival called Cans Festival (a play on The Cannes Film Festival) in the tunnel. Banksy had recognised the potential of the tunnel which had formerly been used as an access road for taxis to pick up passengers from the Eurostar. From the 3rd-5th May 2008, forty street artists from around the world – including Blek le Rat, Ben Eine, Sten & Lex and Vexta – transformed the grimy tunnel into a street art haven. Graffiti and street art are legally permitted in the tunnel meaning that artists can create works without fear of getting arrested by police. This ever-changing gallery now attracts street art tourists and graffiti enthusiasts from around the world and   arches adjacent to the tunnel were recently transformed into bars and restaurants. The site was even home to a temporary cinema, The Lambeth Palace, to celebrate the release of Banksy’s documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop in 2010. 

‘G. DAVIS IS INNOCENT’ Graffiti, East London

Under a railway bridge on Salmon Lane in the Limehouse area of East London is an inconspicuous piece of graffiti left in large white letters, ‘G. DAVIES IS INNOCENT’. The graffiti is one of the few remaining pieces painted in the 1970s as part of a grassroots public campaign to have George Davis freed from prison. In 1974, Davis was sentenced to twenty years in prison for the robbery of the London Electricity Board in Ilford. After family and friends raised questions about the evidence used to convict Davis, the phrase ‘George Davis Is Innocent OK’ began appearing all over East London and the rest of the country. The campaign paid off and in May 1976 Davis was released under the royal prerogative on the advice of the then home secretary, Roy Jenkins. However, only 18-months later, Davis was caught robbing the bank of Cyprus in Holloway and pleaded guilty to his involvement in this armed bank raid. 

More in United Kingdom

The Lost City of Lundenwic

Excavations beneath the Royal Opera House have revealed stunning evidence of early London, both the homes and workshops of the inhabitants and also the defensive ditches that may have been built to protect against Viking attacks before the area was abandoned.