September 2013 Archives

New Street Art from Ronzo

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Street artist Ronzo (covered here) added some new artwork around Brick Lane earlier this summer. The dinosaur piece was removed from Ely's Yard in June, and shortly afterwards, the new pieces appeared. These pieces included smaller replicas of the dinosaur piece, which were placed in various corners of Brick Lane and one near the original dinosaur in Ely's Yard.  The other pieces include the "City of Ronzo" piece in bright green and pigeon sculptures, which were covered here.

'City of Ronzo' and dinosaur sculptures

A couple of pigeons have also appeared around Brick Lane. One of these is outside the office I work, and the other one is located in Ely's Yard.

Ronzo's pigeons

A tribute to Crunchy (This one has been around for a little while, but I only got around to photographing it recently.)

Nights Out: London ICEBAR

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London's ICEBAR was one of the items on my "To Do" list, and it has been on this list for a while. I finally got around to visiting the venue this summer with a small group of friends. ICEBAR is a venue where everything is made from ice: including the tables, seats, bar, walls, and drinking glasses.

The theme of the venue changes every year, and this year's theme was "Galactic Frontiers". (At the time of publishing this entry, there will be a new theme.) Entry to the ICEBAR is in slots of approximately forty-five minutes each, and the bar closes quite early for a London venue. Upon entering, guests receive a warm jacket and gloves to wear as the temperature is a constant -5 degrees Celsius. The first drink is included in the entrance cost, but additional drinks can be purchased.

Photographs from ICEBAR

ICEBAR is owned by the company responsible for ICEHOTEL (a hotel made from ice), and the company is based in Sweden. The ice used for the room, bar, and the drinking glasses is created on from ice in northern Sweden and shipped to London to be installed.

I loved the glasses made from ice, and the cocktails are named in keeping with the annual theme. However, the experience is costly and the cocktails are very small. The novelty is in the fact that the venue is made of ice. I would consider that this is an experience to do once, but I probably would not do it again.

Street Art: Ben Slow

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Today, I've showcased street artist Ben Slow and some of his work that I've snapped when I've visited east London. Ben Slow studied fine art at university before becoming a street artist, and most of his work depicts portraits. He lives in London, and he has created street art across the world.

The following murals are located in east London. (Some of these murals in my photographs have since been painted over.)

The mural of "Charlie Burns" commemorates a local 95-year-old man who ran a charity and who was a well-known figure, often seen on Bacon Street. The mural is painted on Bacon Street. 

Mural of "Charlie Burns" on Bacon Street off Brick Lane.

Other artwork has appeared on Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane. This is a popular spot for street art. The following mural, "The queen of Spitalfields" also commemorates a local individual - a landlady. 

The Queen of spitalfields

The queen of Spitalfields

The next piece was created by Ben Slow for C.A.L.M., an charity organisation that helps prevent young men from committing suicide. It was also located on Hanbury Street, and it was in the same location as the above mural. 

Ben Slow's artwork for CALM.

The following mural was also on Hanbury Street, opposite the previously-mentioned murals. This one depicts "painful" figures, protesters with political messages. The artwork, in black and white, was very striking and filled with emotion.



I've noticed a few graphic-design and photographic paste-ups of a young woman for "New Endings" exhibit pasted around Spitalfields this spring, but I failed to get any photographs of these. 

For more information about the artist, please visit: or

MINI Not Normal Campaign

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Although I really like the MINI brand and have my own MINI, I often do not get to write about it often here. (This interest has sadly taken a step back due to other aspects of life at the moment.) However, MINI UK have just launched a campaign that allows its customers to showcase their MINI creations. MINI are playing on the fact that a large majority of their customers enjoy the brand.


The photographs of the creations made by the MINI fan-base have been the inspiration of the campaign with the "Not Normal" tagline. The ideas for the images were discovered on various social media websites, and the creative individuals were tracked down to recreate the MINI creations for a photograph reshoot. (The MINI sandcastle, which appeared at Weston-Super-Mare a few years ago, was re-created.)

The campaign also encourages others to post their own MINI creations online using the hashtag #MININOTNORMAL.

Exploring Beaumaris Castle on Anglesey

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Beaumaris Castle is located on Anglesey in north Wales. It started construction in the late 1200s, but the castle was never completed. I visited the castle in July. The castle is surrounded by a moat and has a set of outer walls and the inner walls, with the main fortress. There are nice views from the walls, and visitors can walk through narrow corridors inside the walls; there are many small rooms (latrines) that shoot off from the narrow interior corridors. The outer wall closest to the harbour contains a small chapel.

Beaumaris Castle surrounded by the moat.

The castle is a UNESCO world heritage site, and it is one of the most preserved castles that I have visited. (The other two best-preserved castles that I have visited are also located in north Wales.)

Beaumaris Castle and moat.

Entrance to the castle

Views from the walls of the castle.

A seagull sits on top of a pile of stone (forming the wall) on the castle's walls and looks out to sea.

Street Art: Conor Harrington

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Conor Harrington is a street artist from Ireland, and he's been busy painting in London and all over the world this year. He painted a large wall for the Dulwich Arts Festival, covered here: Baroque the Streets. Other recent works include a portrait of a boy on shutters on Petticoat Lane and a portrait of a man off of Rivington Street. Both of these are shown below.

Conor Harrington's most recent piece at Petticoat Lane

One of Conor Harrington's more recent pieces, located near Rivington Street

Another piece to be painted earlier this year was a collaboration with Irish artist Maser. This piece is located off of Brick Lane and features the portrait of a young man.

Conor Harrington and Maser, another Irish artist

Earlier works by Conor Harrington are included below. In these murals, Conor depicts soldiers. These seem to be a favourite subject of the artist. The below image is a collaboration between him and street artist Ronzo.

Ronzo and Conor Harrington

The following two murals are located just off of Brick Lane.

Additional work by Conor Harrington

A horse

For more information about the artist, visit his personal website at:

Summer 2013 in Hyde Park

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The weather this summer was brilliant, and I spent as much time as I could enjoying it. At the end of June, I took these photographs in Hyde Park. As the nice weather seems to have now ended with the past several days seeing rain, I hope that these photographs will bring back some nice memories of the summer.








The statue on the fountain below is sculpted by Alexander Munro. He was a friend of writer Lewis Carroll and writer George MacDonald, whose younger brother modelled his head for the fountain. There is a plaque in the park next to the fountain about this story.


Street Art: Shepard Fairey

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Last year, American artist (graphic designer and illustrator) Shepard Fairey visited London and painted a few walls around the city for an exhibition. The artist has created significant pieces for various campaigns and was featured on the cover of "The New Yorker" and has pieces on display in the Smithsonian, Museum of Modern Art in New York, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and other famous museums around the world.


The artwork is bold and primarily features limited colours - nornally black, yellow/cream and red. I love this style. The colours work well together to create a striking image. They look slightly 'vintage' and are minimal in detail. 


Some of the artwork has a message: political or comical.


The photographs pictured on this entry were taken in and around Shoreditch. These pieces can still be discovered, but the one above on Ebor Street has some tags over the bottom part of it at the moment.


London Cocktails and Cupcakes

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My friend from the states visited in June, and we ended up having cupcakes and cocktails during her visit. The first bakery we visited was one of my favourite London cupcakeries, Primrose Bakery (located in Covent Garden). I originally wrote about this bakery here: A Visit to Primrose Bakery in London and Morning Indulgence at Primrose Bakery.

On our first visit, we indulged in a pink lemonade cupcake and a rose cupcake. The pink lemonade one's icing tasted like lemonade: sour and sweet. We also enjoyed some people-watching from the windows.

Pink lemonade and rose flavours

Pink lemonade and rose flavours

On our second visit, we indulged in lemon cupcakes and carrot cupcakes. The carrot cupcake was not my favourite.



Another venue visited on the other side of Covent Garden was Frevd (or Freud) cocktail bar. This cocktail bar gets rave reviews, and we did enjoy the drinks. We went at lunch time, and it was quiet. We shared nachos and cocktails. The cocktail list is extensive, and we tried a few different cocktails while my friend's husband queued to get a book signed across the road at 'Forbidden Planet' (a science-fiction and fantasy super-store). The bar is located in a basement on Shaftesbury Avenue at the corner of Neal Street. The cocktail menu behind the bar is inventive and thorough. 

Frevd cocktail bar, cocktail bar drinks menu and two of our drinks

Also visited during my friend's visit to London was one of the shops in the 'Candy Cakes' chain. Now, I've tried a free sample of these cupcakes and found them to be dry in the past. The cupcakes look beautiful, but I feel that they do not taste as good as they look. I bought the Oreo cupcake. The icing was nice, but the cake was a little too dry. My friend thought the same about hers.

Candy Cakes shop, window display, and the Oreo cupcake.

Street Art: Cranio, Senna, HIN, and Mo

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Street artists HIN, Senna, Mo, ALO, and Cranio have been busy collaborating on various pieces around London as well as creating their own artwork. This summer has seen some fabulous collaborations with these street artists in various locations. To read more about HIN and to see photographs of his work, view my article Street Art: HIN. To read more about Cranio and to see more of his work that he created earlier this year, view my article Street Art: Cranio. To see the earliest work featuring ALO's portraits and a write-up, read my article Street Art: ALO Artistide Loria.


Cranio arrived back in London this summer, and he has been busy creating new work on his own and in collaboration with other artists. This week, a new mural has appeared off of Brick Lane. I caught the work in progress and near completion on Wednesday, and I popped over to have a look at it early this morning. The work is located in the same place as a mural he completed earlier in the year which most recently featured work of superhero Wolverine by artist Nando Mambo. I've included several photographs of it below and one of it in progress.




Cranio's most recent work in progress on Wednesday

In addition to the mural above, Cranio also 'touched up' an older mural that he created earlier in the year off of Old Street. The sleeping giant has brightly-coloured stripes added to him.

Cranio touches up an older work of art off of Old Street

Another one of Cranio's murals that was painted earlier in the year (on Rivington Street) had recently been painted over, but Cranio reclaimed the spot with two pigs in love and a blue man with a 'thumbs up' symbol on his mobile phone.

Mural on Rivington Street

Another wall with Cranio's work on Brick Lane was recently repainted with a new character. The old mural can be seen on my previous post.

Brick Lane mural

Cranio's blue man drawn on a bus


Alex Senna arrived in London from South America earlier in the summer and created a few murals. His technique is to create black and white illustrations of people (normally couples or showing emotion) or birds. The birds are often dotted around shutters or scaffolding as tags. Although it may not include a lot of bright colour like quite a bit of the street art around, I enjoy the simplicity and cute style of street art. 

One of Senna's murals off of Brick Lane

A mural at Ely's Yard

At the end of July, Senna painted the four panels across from the Village Underground. I believe that this was the first piece that I saw from the artist. The fourth panel included the name of the artist, but this was replaced in several days with another panel. I have included photographs below, including close-ups of the work and the work in progress with Senna standing in the foreground. 

The first panel contains a newspaper headline: "It's a Girl!" than a couple are reading. These murals were painted just before the royal baby was born, so this could be a tribute to the baby. (Remember that we were not aware of the baby's gender at that time.)

Four panels across from the Village Underground

Senna's common tag, the bird, on a shutter on Brick Lane.

Old Street

Petticoat Lane Market 



HIN (Street Art: HIN) has added a few pieces around the city later in the summer, which I have not posted since the entry I posted about the artist.   These were spotted around various areas in east London.  

Various artwork from HIN

Another hulla-hooping figure


Bethnal Green Road and the area next to it has been the focus of many collaborations by street artists. A part of scaffolding on the Brick Lane end of the road that origiginally had work from ALO for some time now has recently been painted on by Senna, Cranio, and HIN. 


A close-up of the work on the scaffolding

A few doors down is the Fun Factory, and Cranio painted one of his blue men on the window. HIN also contributed by sticking several of his small creations around the shop front. Work by ALO and street artist 616 also featue, but these will be covered in another post. (Keep checking back for more information and artwork from 616.) 

Cranio advertises on the glass window of the Fun Factory

hin-funfactory.jpgHIN advertises on Fun Factory, Bethnal Green Road

Around the corner and behind the Fun Factory shop are additional street art pieces that have recently appeared. These are by HIN, Cranio, and a street artist known as Mo. I have not covered much of Mo's work yet, but he paints a lot of monkey heads. These are normally tagged on the tops of buildings. I have an article coming, which you could keep checking back for. Recently, Mo and Cranio collaborated on a piece with Cranio's blue man painting Mo's monkey tag.

Cranio and Mo

Near to the above artwork, Cranio, HIN and Mo have been having fun with artwork painted on the upper walls and roof area off Bethnal Green Road.

Artwork by Cranio, Mo, and HIN

Cranio and  Senna collaborated on sleeping poses near East India station. I have not been to see these pieces yet, but they look impressive.


A shutter was painted on Petticoat Lane (Wentworth Street). It features Cranio's blue man playing on a gaming device and Senna's man reading a paper on a bench. I love this collaboration of the two different styles.

Cranio and Senna

Senna and Cranio and HIN collaborated on a piece off of Brick Lane, but it was immediately buffed over by the council (for being offensive) before I got a photograph of it. The work featured heads of not-well-liked political leaders (a common subject of HIN's) on Cranio's blue man bodies (one strapped with bombs) with a few of Senna's birds. I have a photograph of the work before and after it was painted over by the council. The work has since had new cartoon-like heads painted on it and a mini-protest about the destruction of the artwork. Admitedly, I thought that the heads had been stolen until I read that they had been painted over. While this is not any different from HIN's previous work with similar subjects, it is odd to think that this one was painted over while others survived the censorship.

HIN and Senna

Have you seen any of these pieces or know where there's more? Let me know and leave a message.

Norwich Corporate Rubber Duck Race

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The Norwich Corporate Rubber Duck Race took place a couple of weekends ago. I happened to be in Norwich at the time and stayed to watch the corporate duck race as I saw the ducks lined up on the bridge earlier in the day while I was out looking for Go Go Gorillas

The river was clearly moving in the opposite direction between the start and finish lines (two bridges), and they tried to pull the rubber ducks up the river, against the flow of the river. (The wind probably did not help matters.) In the end, they had to restart the race. 

After the corporate race, a smaller race with raffle-ticket rubber ducks was held, but I did not stay to watch this. The corporate ducks were auctioned off at the beginning of the month. The proceeds went to a local charity.

The ducks are helped down the river

A canoe designed like a duck rows ahead of the rubber ducks

The ducks are dragged down the river as the wind/current pushes them in the wrong direction

A close-up of some of the rubber ducks


The ducks are pulled down toward the finish line

The selection of creative rubber duck designs included a Minnion from the film Despicable Me, Spock from Star Trek, Darth Vader from Star Wars, Super Mario from the video game, an ice cream cone, a 1970s disco duck, and additional ducks decorated with corpoate designs. A few of the designs of the ducks that I saw on the bridge are below.

A selection of the different and creative duck designs

Street Art: Shok-1

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Shok-1 (Shok Oner) is a street artist based in London. His style includes spray-painting murals to look like X-ray, but he also creates realistic pieces, such as the heart-shaped rope knot that appeared earlier this year on Commercial Road. The artist created a series of ten murals, known as 'X-Rainbow' in a square just off of Brick Lane. These depict rainbow-coloured bones and insects. Unfortunately, these murals often did not last long before they were tagged over. The last few in the series did not last long at all, and the last one was only around for a day before being tagged over.

I have included the 'X-Rainbow' series that I photographed over the past year. I missed seeing and photographing a few of these, but I've added them here with a credit to the photographer. It is a pity that these were tagged over as I enjoyed seeing these, and I felt that some of them were amazing examples of street art. With each new piece, the artist got better with this technique. (I have arranged the pieces below in reverse chronological order.)


The above and final piece only lasted for about a day before being tagged over. Below, the ninth piece featured an X-rayed insect. It did not last too long before others started to paint on it and around it. This was unfortunate because this piece and the piece below were my favourites in the series.


The hand below, number eight in the series, did not last too long before someone tagged obscene objects over the top of it. It was promptly painted over with the next piece in the series.


I also liked these X-ray tail bones, but it also did not last very long.


The following murals were taken at earlier stages, and I am not particularly sure of the order for a couple of them.





Remi Rough and Shok-1 


Besides the series of X-Rainbow murals, I have also included other work by the artist discovered around Brick Lane.

Shok-1 off Brick Lane

Shok-1 and Remi Rough

Knotted heart on Commercial Road

Street Art: Tian

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Tian, a street artist from France, has recently been in London and has placed several pieces of art around Brick Lane. The subjects are primarily actresses, people in sport, and a selection of anime-inspired girls. I've included a selection of various pieces that I have captured below.


For more information about Tian, view his website here: 

Street Art: Fanapakan Horror Crew

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Fanapakan Horror Crew have painted on walls in a courtyard off of Brick Lane earlier this summer. They painted these walls a year ago with subjects inspired by balloons, such as a balloon crown for the Diamond Jubilee. Their recent work consists of Liquorice All-Sorts characters: a dog and a man drinking from a bottle.





Last year, their work featured a balloon dog and a balloon crown with flowers super-imposed on the Union Jack. The work was created for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Balloon designs


Weymouth Sand Sculptures 2013

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I'm a big fan of science fiction and fantasy, so when I heard about Weymouth's Sandworld featuring sand sculptures with the science fiction theme this year, I had to go. Weymouth's Sandworld opened in 2011, and next year's theme will be mythology. 

I visited Weymouth Sandworld a few weeks ago. One of the first sculptures I encountered was the Diamond Jubilee-themed sculpture outside the main exhibit. The other sand sculptures were located inside a tent to protect them.

The Diamond Jubilee sand sculpture at Weymouth.

A variety of science-fiction films were depicted in sand. I've photographed a few of these to show.

Various science fiction films and the interior of the exhibition. Films include 'The Time Machine' and 'Thunderbirds'.

'Star Trek', 'Star Wars', and 'Metropolis' are featured in sand sculpture.

The character Jabba the Hutt from 'Star Wars' and the Doctor from 'Doctor Who', including various villans. 

Have you been to visit Weymouth Sandworld? 

Street Art: Alice Pasquini

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Over the past few months, I have captured some photographs of street art by Alice Pasquini. Originally from Rome, Alice mainly paints portraits of people and enjoys representing human feelings and relationships. She enjoys artwork on the streets as it adds a new level of interaction and unexpectedness, unlike viewing artwork in a gallery. All of the artwork below is located in London.

In addition to her other pieces featured in this post, Alice painted a new mural recently off of Brick Lane, on Bacon Street. I've included this one below.


Other photographs are taken of Alice's artwork that I've taken over the past several months.

A large wall painting of a girl on White Church Lane



Various street art in London from left to right: young girl (off Brick Lane); woman near White Church Lane; kissing couple on Blackall Street; cat and woman on Blackall Street

For more information about Alice Pasquini, visit her official website ( and Facebook site ( Have you seen her artwork? What do you think?

Bristol Harbour Festival 2013

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I visited Bristol on the weekend of the Bristol Harbour Festival. Bristol was busy during the festival, but the atmosphere was also relaxed. The harbour was filled with boats and flags, and I saw several specialist boat clubs.

Bristol Harbour Festival started on Friday and finished on Sunday. It consisted of live music, water events, boat parades, harbour-side markets, carnivals/amusements, a fireworks display, and various other attractions. Local businesses were cashing in on the event.


In between looking for the Gromit sculptures, I took in the atmosphere of the Harbour Festival. I listened to some live music and had a quick browse around the markets. The weather stayed fairly nice, but it was not as nice as it has been. There was a bit of rain on Saturday afternoon, which seemed to cut the crowd numbers. The rain fell softly as we watched the fireworks display.

A steam boat club

On Sunday, the water events included stunts on waterski. This attracted a crowd watching the water stunts in the harbour.

Water ski

Water ski stunts

Bristol harbour with boats

The harbour features several other events, such as a boat parade and different types of boat, such as tall ships and steam boats.

The steam train at the MShed leaves behind a cloud of smoke with several different types of boat in the foreground.

Along the harbour, market stalls were set up to sell food and craft items. 

This cute stall sold strawberries and cream; it smelled of strawberry

Bristol has improved greatly from the time that I used to live in the area, which was now several years ago now. The city centre was regenerated a few years ago, and more independent shops have opened. The centre also feels safer than it did when I worked in the area.

This bulldog-painted boat looked menacing as it sailed up and down the harbour

Cranes at the MShed near the harbour with visitors to the festival

On Saturday night, the fireworks display lit up the skies and the harbour. I watched the fireworks launch from behind the cranes in front of the MShed museum. This was the first year in a few years that fireworks have been launched for the Bristol Harbour Festival.

A selection of fireworks from the fireworks display explode with the MShed and cranes in the foreground


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