May 2013 Archives

The Dulwich Arts Festival was held earlier this month, and one of the highlights was an abandoned house that had been taken over by street artists. Visitors could take a glimpse the house on the last weekend of the festival as it was open to the public.

The interior of the house was turned into a masterpiece, and the exterior was also transformed into a giant canvas. I visited the house at the open weekend as it will soon be demolished.

Various artwork by Pablo Delgado, a Mexican street artist who specialises in creating small paste-ups and pasting them (usually) at ground level.

One room in the house was painted by Thierry Noir and showed many of his characters; there were also paintings on the side of the van and canvases for sale. Artist Thierry Noir was in the room, busy creating more artwork. (Read more about this artist here: Street Art: Thierry Noir)

One of the rooms in the house was filled with artwork by Dscreet and featured the owl character. More artwork by this artist was located on the outside of the building, including the front of the house.

My Dog Sighs painted the upstairs utility room area, including painting water bubbles on the wall and sink. A few hidden gems could be found on the walls and under cabinets, including a tin can with a face and various messages.

dulwichart-eyes.jpgIn addition to the utility room, My Dog Sighs painted eyes on various exterior walls and the front door. Some of the eyes showed silhouettes of figures and the sky. I think this artist is brilliant with depicting water, bubbles, and glass-like surfaces.

This very 'angular-looking' room was painted by MadC.

Assorted artwork by Agent Provocateur, Pablo Delgado, Joyce Treasure, 616 (a.k.a. Benjamin Murphy), and Celso.


Silkey tagged the garage door; ROA created various artwork (sperm and skeleton); Malarky created some items in the basement stairs area; REKA created a drawing on a van; Agata Olek created a crochet canvas; Silkey created the first image.

RUN's telephones with contributions by Pablo Delgado.

Cityzen Kane created some sculptures for the side of the house.

Malarky painted one side of the garage and various fox-like characters in the front of the house.

Street Art: Alo, Part 2

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A few months ago, I discovered artwork by street artist Alo (also known as Aristide Loria). I created an article about this here: Street Art: Alo Aristide Loria. These feature various portraits. Since then, more of these have been popping up all over Shoreditch and Spitalfields. I've managed to photograph all that I've discovered. 


The image on the left appears to be crying with a 'tear'. The right image reads: "You're right to insult here; she's a loser just like me."


Two figures.


"Hail to the Loser"


"False Flag"



I enjoy seeing these portraits. 

Creating Memories in Chester

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Chester is a historical town on the Welsh-English border, and it has Roman connections. The city has many timber-framed buildings and an attractive clock; this clock was made for Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee and is located in the middle of the High Street and above the shops.

A view of the clock in Chester.

Timber-framed buildings in Chester.

Chester's timber-framed buildings.

In addition to the many timber-framed buildings in Chester, another building to visit in Chester is the cathedral. It is a pleasant location just off of the hustle and bustle of the High Street. When visiting, be sure to look up at the roof area of the cathedral as there are many gargoyles to be seen.

Chester cathedral

A gargoyle on Chester Cathedral.

A view of the cathedral in the sunshine.

The city of Chester was a walled city, and many of the remains of the wall are still intact. Visitors can walk the city walls and see some of the old gates into the city. There are also Roman ruins, such as an ampitheatre and garden. The castle, a walled red-brick building on a small hill, is also on the edge of the city walls.

A view of the river and a church from the wall.

Timber-framed buildings from the city walls. 

A view down the High Street.

Have you visited Chester? Leave me a comment and let me know what you enjoyed about this nice city.

Street Art: Freedom for Humanity

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Last summer, Los Angeles-based artist Kalen Ockerman painted a mural on Hanbury Street, off of Brick Lane. The mural depicts bankers (ruled by the green all-seeing pyramid eye, which appears on the US banknotes) playing a game of Monopoly. The Monopoly board is held up of faceless individuals while others suffer and protest against a corporate machine. (This is my impression of the artwork, but others felt that the mural was offensive, and the number of complaints made against it ensured that it did not last long.)

The artwork did not have a long life on the popular street art Hanbury Street wall as it was removed for being controversial (and offensive to some). The bold and bright colours of the artwork and the cartoon-like figures (and overall message) made this one stand out. The artwork has since been replaced by uncontroversial street art.
While everyone has a message, I do tend to prefer my street art to be less "protest", at least not so blatant, but I am posting it because it is street art and artwork nonetheless. It was just unfortunate for the artist that its message was unintentional.
"Freedom for Humanity" by  Kalen Ockerman.

The Robots Are Coming

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I saw this street art in Shoreditch a little while ago and had to get a photograph of it. I'm not sure what this means exactly or what it refers to. "The robots are coming" is quickly scrawled on a wall.


The Dulwich Arts Festival was held earlier this month, and for two days at the end of the festival, visitors could take a glimpse of a house on Lordship Lane that was taken over by various street artists and transformed into a empty canvas of walls, ceilings, rooms, floors, and fittings - all met with creative eyes and fresh coats of paint. For those who love street art, it was not to be missed.

I visited the house on the Saturday morning. I got there at 11:00am, but the artists and others were still cleaning up from the party the night before. They ended up letting us in at about 12:30. (I used part of the time to check out the other artwork in the area.) There's also much to see outside the house, including the walls of the house itself.


The exterior of the house features the works of multiple artists. The side of the house features a massive mural by RUN, which was inspired by the painting "The Triumph of David" in the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Malarky has painted some fox-like characters on the front, and Dscreet has created one of his signature owls. Nagel (Street Art: London's Mushrooms) also included some work in the front yard/garden, and there were smaller and hidden pieces by artists Pablo Delgado, Kid Acne (Street Art: Kid Acne's Warrior Women and London Street Art: 'Oh My Days!' by Kid Acne), and The Dog Sighs. The vehicles in the drive were also arted-up. 

The back of the house had street art from ROA, Nagel, Kid Acne, Cityzen Kane, Dscreet, and others.

Work by Kid Acne, Pablo Delgado, and Nagel. The artist of the cat would like to be kept anonymous.

The sign for the open house and artwork by Broken Fingaz on a wall in front of the house, beside a bus stop.

This was exciting because I've not come across some of the artists or their artwork before. Also, seeing the art as a collaboration between artists as well as entire rooms painted by one artist was inspiring.

One room was 'painted' and kitted out with Nagel's mushrooms. (You can see work by Malarky outside through the window.)

I loved the room by Nagel, and I always love spotting the 'organic' mushrooms growing out of the tops of buildings in London.

The Rolling People also painted the entire room, including the floor, windows, and ceiling, in their signature style. (They recently had a massive wall on the Village Underground in Shoreditch which I've got photographs of and will publish and entry for.)

The room by the Rolling People

Another room was painted with RUN's signature figures in an abstract style.

The RUN room

The bathroom had even been painted with works by Dscreet and a message above the toilet "Post this on your bog". That made me laugh a little, so I have posted it.

The bathroom has been converted into a room of street art.

For those looking hard, additional artwork could be discovered where it was least expected. Ben Wilson, who paints small pictures on bubble gum, contributed to some of the work in the house, and I discovered two pieces inside the house. I could not stay long, and I am sure that I missed a lot of this less-obvious artwork.

Artwork from Ben Wilson in the house consists of small-scale bubble-gum paintings.

In fact, I saw Ben Wilson painting a bubble gum outside on the pavement near the house. We had a chat, but I didn't really know what to say. I've read about his work and seen it, but I've never seen it in real life. This as pretty exciting. There were a few finished pieces near the front of the house as well.

dulwichart-wilson2.jpgBen Wilson painting used bubble gum on the pavement.

I have many more photographs to post, so I hope you come back to visit this week to see what other surprises I have from Lordship Lane's street artist house. I hope you have a good week.

Nantwich and Anderson Boat Lift

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A few weeks ago, I visited Cheshire and found myself in a charming village of Nantwich. The village has many timber-framed buildings, pubs, and quaint shops. (In fact, there was a music festival happening in the village when I visited, and a lot of the local people were out and enjoying the festivities.) 

A church and timber-framed buildings in Nantwich 

Old buildings and the millennium clock in Nantwich's Cocoa Yard, including the surviving chimney of a blacksmith's shop

Church in Nantwich

A nuclear bunker museum is located outside the village in the middle of open country. This museum looked interesting.

The secret nuclear bunker in Nantwich

Before exploring Nantwich, we visited the Anderton boat lift. The boat lift uses hydraulics to raise and lower canal boats from a canal on a higher level of land to the river fifty feet below. The boat lift was built in the late 1800s and left to 'rust away' for many years before it was restored and opened to the public once again.

Visitors to the boat lift can enjoy a river boat ride in a canal boat and get a chance to see local wildlife, if they are lucky, and listen to commentary about the area and the history of the boat lift.

The Anderton Boat lift with a canal boat leaving the lift.

A view of the river from the canal boat after a ride on the Anderton Boat lift.

Street Art: JimmyC

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Australian street artist Jimmy C (known as James Cochran) paints portraits using small dots or streaks of colours to represent light and shadow. He often portrays these portraits with shapes, such as orbs or urban-esque landscape in the foreground or with the illusion of motion. Several pieces of his work can be discovered around Shoreditch and Brick Lane in London.


A portrait on Redchurch Street with urban buildings in the foreground and around the subject.

An elderly man on Bacon Street.
jimmyc2.jpg jimmyc5.jpg
A hooded young man with an urban-esque landscape on Whitby Street.
jimmyc3.jpg jimmyc6.jpg
A woman with brightly-coloured orbs on Whitby Street.
On both sides of the doorway of this building on Redchurch Street are these urban figures with urban-esque buildings above them.
These two portraits with orbs are located near Old Street.
Jimmy C. painted a colourful Olympian Usain Bolt's face in Shoreditch on Sclater Street.



A skull in a car park off Brick Lane (this no longer exists).

This year, the Weston-super-Mare sand sculpture exhibition is Hollywood-themed. The sand sculptures are made as a tribute to Oscar-winning films as well as to actresses/actors and film directors of the award-winning films. There's even a sand platform and Oscar trophy where visitors can stand and pretend that they are presenting or being given an Oscar. Visitors to the exhibition can also see how sand sculptures are created.

I visited the exhibit a few weekends ago. Although the poor weather has caused much damage to the sand sculptures, the talent and hard work put into some of the sand sculptures could be seen. The damaged ones were being repaired when I was there, and hopefully these now would have been fixed. (Apparently, the ice conditions this spring meant that the sand expanded as the weather and the sand warmed up.)

weston-sand-2013-1.jpgA sandy Gollum from the 'Lord of the Rings' films

weston-sand-2013-2.jpgA sandy tribute to the 'Pirates of the Caribbean'

weston-sand-2013-3.jpgFrom top: 'Toy Story', Alfred Hitchcock with birds, 'Up', Marilyn Monroe, and 'Ice Age'

weston-sand-2013-5.jpgHarry Potter and his friends made from sand; Dobbie is under repair

weston-sand-2013-6.jpgThe massive sand King Kong

Have you been to see the sand sculptures in Weston-super-Mare? What did you think? Which one is your favoruite?

Knitted Cuteness

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Working and practically living in London, pigeons are a common sight to me. However, I'm not really that fond of them as they are messy and annoying; they tend to be in the way and 'there' when they know food is being consumed. Despite this, I do think they are a bit pretty. They would certainly be more lovable to me if they were made of knitted cloth, like these stuffed knitted pigeons I've discovered below. I think these are adorable.

To make them even more likable, the piegeons have been given the name "Pablo".  Pablo the Pigeon. I guess it works. These knitted pigeons can be purchased at:

For other knitted cuteness, I discovered a range of animals and mammals created by Lauren of CuteWorkshop Etsy shop. Need a knitted snail, whale, cat, bear, chick, fish, or goat? Then this is the place to visit:
I hope you enjoyed these cute knitted creatures.

Days Out: Frodsham, Cheshire

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Frodsham is a market village (dating from medieval times) east of Chester. The village is rich in history and has many historic buildings, such as a row of thatched cottages. An attractive clock is located in the village's market square. I visited over Easter and took a few photographs of the village before continuing on my travels.

The attractive clock in Frodsham.

Chocolate Ducks made from marzipan and Cadbury Creme Egg in the bakery 

Doorways, windows, and brickwork

Thatched cottages in Frodsham

A window in a thatched cottage

Street Art: Otto Schade

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Otto Schade's style of street art is easy to recognise. The artist was born in Chile, but he currently lives in London and fills the streets of Shoreditch and Spitalfields with wonderful works of art. 

About a month ago, I caught sight of Otto Schade painting a wall in Ely's Yard near Brick Lane. (Last year, the same wall was painted with a tribute to the Olympics.) The butterfly has hidden imagery inside it; two symmetrical skulls can be seen.


During the Olympics, Otto Schade painted this wall with a tribute to the Olympics. This is one of his styles of painting, with the figures made up of ribbons, which remind me of rubber bands.


Another piece by Schade dipicts a figure poking an orange bubble. Another common theme in his work are orange bubbles or orbs. In addition, one of these features 'eyes' and a representation of the Thames with areas of London written on some of the bands. You can see this one in the photograph below.
A close-up of the London orb is shown below. This sticket was located just off of Brick Lane, and I've seen a few of these around.
The common orange orbs are usually depicted with a silhouette. I've posted a few of these that I have located over the past few months below. Along with these, I've included a large-scale inter-twined couple, and this can be found on the side of a pub.  It actually spans two storeys of the pub based near Great Eastern Street. 
The final image differs in style from the previous pieces, and this is a stenciled imge a baby in a police hat. 
I hope you've enjoyed seeing some artwork by this artist. Are you a fan of his work? Leave a comment.
To view Otto Schade's website, go to

Olivier Kugler Travel Art

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A little while ago, I came across illustrations by Olivier Kugler, an artist living in London. The illustrations were made in the artist's travels, and some of them include portraits. Text is used in some of the illustrations to narrate it, and the artist often includes relevant maps and diagrams along with the illustrations.
A portrait of a family
The images created are inspired by places that the artist has visited in travels, including America's "Waffle House" diner. More recently, he created a map for the royal wedding in 2011. He also illustrates portraits of individuals around the world.
I like the idea of an illustration journal. Instead of written travel journals, provide illustrations during your travel with some narrative, or simply illustrate a nice image. 
(Note all artwork on this page belongs to Olivier Kugler. View more of Olivier's work at:

Afternoon Tea at Hush in Mayfair

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A few weekends ago, we visited Hush in Mayfair to take afternoon tea and cocktails. The restaurant and tearooms are are situated in a quiet courtyard in Mayfair, and I'd been to the courtyard a couple of times before.


We started the afternoon tea with a pot of English Breakfast tea to share. The tea was nice, but I felt that it got a little too strong for my tastes after being left to brew for a while. While we sipped our tea, our cocktails were brought over. The cocktails were gin-based, and I thought that they were delicious. The cocktail I had was mixed with elderflower cordial, and it had a sweet taste. The bloke ordered the lemon, and it had a nice sweet-and-sour flavour.


Unfortunately, I felt a little disappointed with the rest of the afternoon tea. The cocktails were the nicest bit of this experience, but we didn't get much cocktail. We received plenty of sandwiches, two small scones each, and four macaroons. The scones came with clotted cream and three different types of jam (strawberry, red raspberry, and cherry). 


We received four flavours of macaroons, but they were not the best I've had. We also received some gin-infused treat, which I'm not sure how to describe. We were not quite sure how to eat/drink this, but it tasted a little bit like the bloke's lemon-y cocktail.  


Recently, I noticed a series of warrior women paste-ups appear on Bethnal Green Road. The warrior women were created by Kid Acne, and he had recently painted a large wall, which I blogged about here: London Street Art: 'Oh My Days!' by Kid Acne. These warrior women had been pasted up in London (and other cities) previously. I've also seen them referred to as "stabby women" online.  


I really like these. I'm hoping that more will be making an appearance (to other areas in Shoreditch) soon. 


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