JimmyC Paints Shakespeare on South Bank

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For a long while, the wall on Clink Street, South Bank (London) contained an old mural that had been tagged over. The mural was by Spanish street artist SPOK and the subject may be best described as a spray can gadget. The mural has been looking tired for awhile; I first took notice of it in 2010, and it was already looking a bit tired then. Earlier this year, I noticed that it had been tagged over extensively. I'm happy to say that the wall near the entrance of the tunnel on Clink Street has had a new lease of life.


The new wall features the work of Australian artist JimmyC (James Cochran). I covered a lot of his work in my originally post here, which features Usain Bolt during the 2012 Olympics. Over the past few years, JimmyC has been busy creating new murals and refreshing them, such as this female portrait near Great Eastern Street, this female portrait near Petticoat Lane, this scenery and portrait on Calendonian Road, this portrait of Mick off Brick Lane, this family portrait on Joe's Kid Cafe, and the portrait of David Bowie that was famous at the beginning of this year after the singer passed on


This new mural is not too far from Shakespeare's Globe theatre and features the bard himself. This is appropriate because this year marks 400 years since the end of Shakespeare in 1616, and London hosted 'The Complete Walk' in April to mark the anniversary and showed light projections on the Guildhall. The walk mentioned features several shorts of the bard's work, and one of the screens was located in the spot where the mural is; it was showing "The Twelfth Night."


This is an excellent addition to London's street art scene as it shows a famous London resident, located not far from his theatre which was probably a little closer to where the mural is than the present day reconstruction. Have you been to see it yet?

Newcastle Street Art

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While I did not go to Newcastle in order to see street art, I did manage to find some without looking. One of these is work by Karl Striker, who has been compared to Banksy. The artist uses a stencil style, and the below piece is located across from the police headquarters. It was commissioned by the owner of the wall, and the piece shows a police officer with the sign reading "warning stereotyical lookalikes operating in this area". The street art is protected with perplex.


Most of the street art that I saw in Newcastle was located in the archways behind Sage concert hall. I believe these are called Comusica arches and contain a lot of street art. I've taken a selection of photographs of these.





I noticed part of a mural by Sheffield-based artist Phlegm inside one of the arches, but it has been painted over. 


The piece originally looked like the below, which I took from Phlegm's official Pinterest page. Too bad that it has been tagged over as it looked like an excellent piece tucked away in this archway.


A Weekend in Tyne & Wear and Newcastle

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The weekend before last, I visited Newcastle and Tyne & Wear in the north of England. This was my first visit to the area, and although it was just a short visit, I managed to discover some places that I would like to visit again for a longer time. The area is beautiful and consists of some very attractive coastline, parks, and cities. Photographs of my visit can be seen in this post.


One of our first stops was to Saltwell Park in Gateshead after visiting the Angel of the North. This is a beautiful park with nice views, a boating lake, beautiful gardens, and Saltwell Towers, a mansion dating form the mid-1800s. The park and gardens were looking lovely in the autumn, and Saltwell Park appears to be a popular place with many families visiting it and the tearooms at Saltwell Towers. I would like to return for a longer visit.


Another stop we made was to Whitely Bay along the coast. There is a picturesque lighthouse in view, and the beach was busy with surfers as the waves were quite large when we visited. There is a nice sandy beach here.



North Shields was the next stop, and this was visited at dusk.


Union Quay at North Sheilds is a fishing harbour with fishing boats and nets laid out. I captured a picturesque photograph here of the harbour and the boats. There is a little bit of parking here at Union Quay.


The next morning, I had a nice walk from Gateshead to Newcastle. I saw the famous steel bridge (Tyne Bridge) over the river Tyne and crossed the newer Millennium footbridge just up the river to get some better views of Tyne Bridge. The sun had come out, and I got some good photographs of this bridge. The bridge is an icon of the city of Newcastle.


Newcastle is built on a hill, so I had to walk up a steep hill to get to the rest of the city from the river area. The Tyne Bridge actually is built up so it can cross the river.


Newcastle is an attractive city and has quite a few shops that I wish I could have explored longer. There also looks like quite a few good pubs and restaurants.


One of the monuments in Newcastle sits high upon a column. It is Grey's Monument, named after Charles Grey who was the 2nd Earl Grey (apparently there is an association with him and Earl Grey tea). The column is similar to the column in Trafalgar Square, and this is because it was built by the same sculptor. The monument was built in the 1830s. 


I would like to visit Newcastle and the area again. Do you recommend any attraction in this area for my next visit?

Russet, Purple and Gold

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I really miss autumns in the USA. They are so much more colourful than the bland autumns here in the UK where the leaves may turn a slight shade of brown or orange before falling to the ground. Also, the weather just turns a bit cooler. In the USA, it gets much colder and frosty for a couple of weeks before the last warmth of the year returns for another couple of weeks. These two warm weeks are known as "Indian Summer", and it's my favourite time of year. This normally happens in the early or middle part of October. Of course, some autumns are more colourful than others, and wind or rain is not appreciated because that knocks the leaves and colour off the trees.


I have not been to the USA for autumn or seen it since I lived there, and that last time was around 2003. From what I remember, it was not a memorable autumn like some of the past ones. The above photographs were past autumns that I enjoyed growing up, and they would have been taken in the late 1980s and early 1990s. My aunt bought me a camera for my birthday in the late 1980s, and it went everywhere with me. 

One of my favourite pastimes was going on walks on the farm. My favourite was to climb the large hill that was located across some pastures. The hill over-looked a small village and valley, and it was a great place to enjoy the views and the autumn colours.

Autumn also meant drinking apple cider (pure apple juice) and carving pumpkins. It also meant picking gourds, squash, apples, and Indian corn. Indian corn is brightly-coloured corn that is used for decoration in the autumn. It is left to dry in the fields and then picked in the autumn. The husks are peeled back to reveal beautiful colours, and the colours were unknown until the husks were pulled back to reveal it.

Over January one year, probably close to twelve years ago now, my father was helping with replacing the flooring at my grandmother's house. They discovered several old newspapers dating from the early 1900s, and the newest one of the lot was dated in the early January at around the same time that the floor was being replaced, which means that the last floor work was probably done about 90 years ago at roughly the same time of the year.


I read many of the articles in the old papers. In one, there was a poem that described autumn. The papers are currently in the USA, but I wanted to track the poem down. I remembered the title of it, so I tried my luck at searching for it and was able to locate it. News in America is syndicated because it's such a large country, so articles would be posted across many papers. I was able to trace the poem to an identical page located in a newspaper known as Elmira Telegram from New York. The direct link is at the bottom of this post. 

Nearly a hundred years after the poem was published by an (I assume) reader/writer who submitted it to the Denver Times newspaper, it was read by me. I do not know anything about the writer of the poem other than it was printed in the November 4, 1903 edition of the Elmira Telegram newspaper. The poem is below.

The woodland dreams in the distant blue;
The foothllls hide in the purple haze;
The forest is robed in a royal blue,
And the boundless valleys seem ablaze.
The beautiful trees unfold,
In a quiet display of, shifting-scene,
Advance from the order of gray and green
To russet, purple and gold.

The mellow sunbeams gleam and glow,
And shimmer above the peaceful fields.
The willows lean where the waters flow;
The rushes rustle their fluted shields,
The grasses are all unrolled;
The cricket his farewell sonnet weaves
While over him hang the autumn leaves,
In russet, purple; and gold.

Oh, let me wander among the vines,
Where bramble and briar shield the brake
When Indian summer around me shines,
And the frosted leaves a footway make!
I refuse to be counted old--
The alluring hopes of youth return
For the mystic fires, of boyhood burn
In russet, purple, and gold. 

- O. W. KINNE, (In Denver Times)


Autumn really is my favourite time of year.

'Angel of the North' by Anthony Gormley

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The 'Angel of the North' is a giant steel sculpture created by Anthony Gormley in 1998 for Gateshead near Newcastle. The steel angel is 20 meters tall and 54 meters wide. The angel placed here symbolises the use of the land below for coal mines and to express the new information age. The steel angel has been drilled into the ground 33 meters so that it will withstand the wind and gravity. In total, it cost £800,000 to create. The sculpture is an icon of Tyne & Wear and the north of England.


Getting photographs of the angel with a bright and overcast sky was particularly difficult.



Have you ever seen the Angel of the North?

The Great North Snowdog Charity Sculptures

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Tyne and Wear are currently hosting 'Great Snowdogs of the North' charity sculpture trail to raise funds for St. Oswald's Children's Hospice. The snowdog sculptures are inspired by the animated short "The Snowman™ and The Snowdog", which is a popular winter and holiday film featuring a little boy who builds a magical snowman and snowdog. Each sculpture has been painted or crafted by an artist or group of artists. The charity trail runs until 29 November, and the sculptures will be auctioned in the new year.

Snowberry - Simon Tozer

Last weekend, I headed up to Newcastle to have a look around as the city and area is one of the few places in the country that I have not had a chance to visit; I also downloaded the app for the Snowdog trail, and the bloke and I headed off finding the snowdogs. Unfortunately, the snowdogs were scattered all over the county and not in one place where we could walk to them, so we drove to see them and I spent the next day in Newcastle in order to see the ones that I could visit on foot. I managed to see all of them except for one that was located much further north in Northumberland National Park.

Dog on the Tyne - Jane Headford

Snowdog Springtime - Joanna Lumley

Great North Polar Pooch - Sandra Jaekel-Bothyart

Tails of the Sea - Joanne Wishart

Luna - Geoff Chappell

Wonderhound - Illona Clark

Sparky - David Sith

Chilly Dog - Sally Adams

Rosy Posy - Sarah Jane Richards

Patchword Snowdog - Jill Barklem

Es Tu Cosa - Tristan Lathley

Gingerbread Dog - Sarah-Jane Szikora

Pawdington - Mandii Pope

Rover Codex - Ellie Tarratt

Skipper - Joanne Wishart

Snow Angel of the North - Mik Richardson

Snowline - Jim Edwards

Arthur - Jeff Rowland

For more information about Great North Snowdogs and the trail map, visit the official website at http://www.greatnorthsnowdogs.co.uk

Often, the street art scene in London encourages collaborations, such as this piece that appeared in the summer by Binho Ribeiro and Tinho. Both Tinho and Binho Ribeiro (Binho) are street artists from Brazil. Ribeiro has a long legacy of producing street art in Brazil, and this spans from the mid-1980s. The work below was created for the LATA Street Culture Festival. Ribeiro creates brightly-coloured characters and uses patterns.




Tinho also began his street art career in the 1980s, and he painted the background, water and the Big Ben in the mural above.

Ananda Nahu Street Art

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Ananda Nahu (ANahu) is a street artist from Brazil who creates her work using many small stencils and freehand painting. Most of her work features bright colours and has a human element to it. She recently painted on a wall near Old Street. The mural features a cloaked figure holding a bright red apple. It was painted for LATA Street  Culture Festival. 




Although this was her only work in London, she did paint additional murals in Liverpool and Whiteley Bay during her visit to England.

An installation of fifteen signing and lighting see-saws are currently visiting Leicester Square in London until the 27th of this month. The see-saws are part of an installation known as "Impulse", and they appeared in Montreal over Christmas last year. The see-saws make musical sounds and light up when they sense movement and interaction. They are free to use and help to liven up the afternoons and evenings as the days get shorter.



The see-saws will be in Leicester Square until 27 October, and they can be visited from dawn until dusk when the gates to the square are closed off. They are free to use and can accommodate four people, although I did see one with six people on it.

The last time that I posted about street artist Paul 'Don' Smith's work was earlier in the year when I discovered that he had painted a lot in Soho in west London after most of his work had become tagged over in east London. The artwork and that post can be seen here. This post features a large selection of Paul 'Don' Smith's street art over the past year. The most recent piece was painted off Hackney Road and features singer Amy Winehouse.




Paul 'Don' Smith paints another tribute to Lenny.


The story earlier in the year where the gay night club in Orlando, Florida was targeted was remembered.


Another tribute to Lemmy.


A tribute to David Bowie, who died in early January of this year.



'The Kiss'


'A Clockwork Orange'







Tom vs Bane


Richard Asher

Unfortunately, a lot of the work in Soho now has a white cross painted over the top of it. This is a shame to see the work of one of London's busiest street artists painted over so that others cannot enjoy it.


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