January 2017 Archives

Street Art: Rammed Earth Elephant

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Rammed Earth Elephant is the work of Dominic Snow, who set up a Kickstarter to highlight the crafting and building technique and to raise money for charity and conservation efforts. The technique involves compacting earth together to build the elephants, which is an ancient wall-building method. This wall-building method of compacting dirt and stone was used to create the Great Wall of China.


In November, I discovered a single elephant on Brick Lane. By the end of January, the elephant family increased in size to three.



The Great Elephant Treasure Hunt is a Facebook page set up to highlight the street art elephants in their environments across the UK: https://www.facebook.com/great.elephant.treasure.hunt/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf

London-based street artist Otto Schade (who originally hails from Chile) is one of London's busiest street artists. He normally paints two styles of street art: a round silhouette style with orange/yellow or purple background with a social or political message or an object/design created with a three-dimensional ribbon design. Before Christmas, the following social/political message popped up off Shoreditch High Street.


The mural, "peace and love on the streets" features two children on either side of a Christmas tree. The children are in innocence, holding toys behind their back. The Christmas tree, however, is made out of guns, grenades and ammunition. The words "Love" and "Peace" are stenciled in the background of the piece.


Previous work by Otto Schade are included in the below posts:

Street Artist Otto Schade Paints Southampton 'Zany Zebra' for Charity (and other work)
Street Art Round-up: Spring & Summer 2015
Otto Schade's New Street Art (Meerkats, Portraits, & More) in East London
New Street Art from Horror Crew, Swoon, Otto Schade, HIN, and others
Street Art: Otto Schade

HIN Street Art: "Real Clown"

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

HIN (originally covered here) is a street artist from Hong Kong who creates paste-ups of political or celebrity figures and pastes them around London. I believe that the last time the artist pasted up his work was in 2014 when "Racist Bears" was pasted up on Hanbury Street. HIN's newest piece was pasted up on a door on Redchurch Street, and the piece is a picture of a clown and rainbow with the text "Real Clown" around the clown's head.


HIN's work always makes me laugh.


Normally, HIN pastes a couple of pieces up. If you see any additional pieces, please let me know in the comments.

Cityzen Kane Sculpture on Bacon Street

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Street artist Cityzen Kane (an artist that I originally covered here) puts tribal-inspired sculptures up on buildings in London. Last winter, he posted up a few sculptures on Sclater Street. In 2014, he posted up a mural in memory of his son who died from cancer; this red and black mural was on Redchurch Street. I returned from the holidays to find a new artwork by Cityzen Kane on Bacon Street. The new artwork is a stand-alone piece, unlike the last couple of pieces that I have seen from the artist that make a larger artwork.


When the artist puts up one piece like this, there's normally more to follow. I have not seen anymore pieces by Cityzen Kane in London, so if you are aware of any new ones, let me know in the comments.

One of London's busiest street artists, Zabou, has returned to London at the weekend to paint one of her first murals of 2017. The mural exists on a shoe store on Hackney Road where she has previously painted. This time, she has collaborated with another artist, Koeone (Koe1). The last time I posted Zabou's work was when she refreshed her wall on The Bell pub near Petticoat Lane with "Keep Out!". Zabou is an artist who is originally from France, and her work mainly consists of portraits. She typically uses black and white but then adds a pop of bright colour, and her work normally has an element of humor in it. 


Koeone is an artist who also paints portraits and tends to use his abstract grafitti style tag to add bright colour (usually shades of pink and blue) to the head/hair of the subject while keeping the portrait (usually females) in monochrome. Koeone is from North Devon, England, and he is a self-taught artist who has painted all over the world and collaborated with other well-known artists. 


Above is a close-up of the monochrome portrait that Zabou painted as part of the collaboration. Below is Koeone's pink and blue tag element, which he added to the collaboration.


Previous examples of Zabou's street art can be found on the following links in my blog:

"Keep Out!" Street Art by Zabou
Zabou's 'Cabinet of Curiosity' Street Art
Leake Street Tunnels Street Art, Spring 2016
Recent Street Art by Zabou
Street Art: Zabou

An early interview by Zabou and some of her early work is currently posted on InspiringCity and can be read here: https://inspiringcity.com/2013/06/22/interview-with-zabou-dalstons-hippest-new-street-artist/ 

One of last year's highlights was visiting the Magic Lantern Festival at Chiswick House (London) a week before Chinese New Year with friends. When they suggested we go again this year, we agreed and looked forward to catching up with them (as it has been a few months since we last saw each other) as well as seeing the Magic Lantern Festival again. Remembering how cold last year was, we dressed up warmly before heading on our way.


We noticed as soon as we arrived at Chiswick House that the set-up was different this year, and it was much busier; the trail was arranged in the opposite way and the food area was not at the entrance. We'd planned on getting food before the trail as we read that there would be more food vendors this year, but those plans changed when we saw that the food was not at the trail start. While walking around the trail, we noticed that the lanterns this year were mainly not the Chinese lanterns. Instead, they were strands of lights on frames, and the subjects of the lights were more westernised instead of Chinese. We also did not see any moving ones this year.


Overall, there were less lanterns than last year. Last year, so many lanterns were dotted along the trail, particularly all around the river's banks. The lanterns did come with a description this year, which was useful as I struggled to understand the meaning of many last year and had to ask our Chinese friend for translations and meanings of the symbols. 


Although some of these were beautiful and we saw a few Chinese ones later on in the trail, we all felt a bit underwhelmed. We had hoped for more of the traditional Chinese lanterns that we saw last year. I believe that there are now three of these events around the UK, and the marketing was extended this year to generate more interest, so the organisers probably opted for more of a westernised event. It was still fun to do, but last year's Magic Lantern Festival was a lot better.

Below are some of my photographs on the trail. 























The Magic Lantern Festival at Chiswick House is on display until 26 February.

Canary Wharf Winter Lights (2017)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

One of the highlights of January last year was visiting Canary Wharf to see their light display, dubbed Winter Lights, which replaced the ice sculpting festival that they had in previous years that I never got to see. Winter Lights at Canary Wharf were on display for at least two weeks last year, and I went to see them on the first night. My review of Canary Wharf's Winter Lights 2016 can be read here. Last year also brought us Lumiere London, which I had hoped would make a come-back this year, but it did not due to the scale and crowding problems.


This year, Canary Wharf's Winter Lights returns for two weeks, and with thirty different installations, there are more this year than last. Monday night was wet and rainy, so I made the effort to visit it on a cold Tuesday Wednesday Thursday. (I wasn't able to get there until Thursday as I had to work late.) The event was much more busier this year than last. This may have been because it was marketed more or people remembered it from last year or remembered the success of Lumiere. It may also have been because I visited it on a Thursday when more people were enjoying the evening out at Canary Wharf after work instead of earlier in the week like my last visit. An overview of each installation is included below along with my thoughts and experience.

Cathedral of Colours


Poemdrums & Koans - Lilian Lijn 

This American artist explores language, sculpture and performance to create her sculptures. One range of them were lit-up cones that displayed phrases or poems when lit. Unfortunately, not all of these were lit up when I visited. A larger-scale one with moving lights was also on display. In addition to the "poemdrums", several colourful cones were also on display. One large white cone lit up with moving red lights. These were all located in the lobby of One Canada Square.




The Garden of Floating Words - Elisa Artesero

This work is a cluster of words and neon lights that create a poem which seemingly raises up amongst the trees and bushes in the park.


Angels of Freedom - Ove Collective / Merav Eitan + Gaston Zahr

Clustered around Jubilee Park are several similar art installations featuring wings in different sizes and positions. The wings change colour and have been set up to encourage interaction. The visitor can stand in the middle of the wingset and be transformed into an angel, complete with light-up wings and halo. Everyone can become an angel. These were gathering a lot of attention and encouraged people to take photographs as angels.



OVO - Ovo Collective

The colossal art installation this year is the Ovo. The Ovo is a large-scale installation that visitors can enter to become a part of it. A soundscape plays while the lights shift colour; a watery mist is ejected into the air at intervals, which gives the appearance of a mystical egg surrounded by mist. Inside the structure, different angles can be explored for vantage points, and the viewer becomes a part of the action, becoming surrounded in the mist that emits from the structure.




Lumen Prize Global Tour Showreels

These showreels present moving and still images from short-listed artists. The showreels were in the same place as last year, but they were easier to miss this year due to other installations in the immediate area.



Huge Reeds - Pitaya 

These large and towering tubes have light flowing through them. They look like towering reeds and change into a bright colour, which appears to start below and filters to the ends. They also moved as though they were living reeds. These were in two locations at Canary Wharf: Cabot Square and outside Crossrail.


On Your Wavelength - Marcua Lyall

This is an interactive light sculpture and music installation, and it is controlled by a visitor's mind via an EEG headset. As the participant's thought patterns change, the lighting pattern and music changes. The lights are controlled with over 30,000 LEDs. Each participant's thoughts ended with a different pattern; this installation had attracted a large crowd with many people willing to give it a try.


Origin - Phillip Mohr & Selektivton

This interactive light and sound installation is controlled by the motion of the participant moving their hands inside an area in front of the sculpture. This produces a unique sound and light colour depending on the motion. The sculpture itself appears to be suspended in air.


Lumen Presents Inflow - Ronan Devlin

This installation is software-based. The software creates a three-dimensional artwork that creates movement betwen graphs in response to movement within its space. These patterns are then unique to each audience. I interacted with this along with a small group of people, and I overheard them saying that it looked like daggers coming after them.



The Haze Series - Max Patté

British artist Max Patté's has been inspired by his travels along New Zealand's coastline and how the colour changes there. It has inspired him to create his series of installations "The Haze Series". This installation is an experiment of light and colour, which is constantly tuned. Three of these orbs were hanging on the wall, gradually glowing softly.


Lumen Presents Passage - Bonjour Interactive Lab

The description about this installation was to the effect that the installation takes the sound from visitor footsteps and footprints and scans them. This then creates a data trail, which is frozen until the next group of visitors walk by. I have seen a video of this, but I somehow missed it due to so many installations being in such a small space; however, it is possible that it was out of action when I visited because I did not notice it.


Light Movements - Neil Shirreff

The artwork in these frames is lit up by gradually-changing multi-coloured LED lights. As these multi-coloured LED lights change colour, the perception of the frame and the artwork inside the frames changes form, which is created by an optical illusion. This transition continuously alters the perception of the work, making the dots in the artwork appear of different size or importance.


Lumen Presents Omega Point - Marios Athanasiou

This installation allows visitors to see themselves in infinite feedback loops (quantum physics). Visitors walk into a room with the screen in front of them, and their image is projected onto the screen in yellow dots, which then quickly dissipates after being replicated.


Selected Works - Aphra Shemza

London-based artist Aphra Shemza creates artwork in an abstract style. Her artworks combine the use of light and interactivity to encourage viewers to explore the artwork. In doing so, they can give it their own meaning. There were a few more pieces than the ones that I have added here, but the first set of works includes wooden totem poles with red-lit symbols. These were repeated as wall hangings. There were also a series of mirrored strands of lights to create the basic square or triangle geometrical shapes, but the mirrors an reflections created many more shapes. The larger of these gradually changed colour.





Neon & Mirrors - Camilo Matiz

Neon & Mirrors uses neon lights and mirrors to conceptualise words and their meanings. The artist challenges the viewer to see possibilities and opposite meanings based on the light and the reflection. Mass media and how the visitor sees it are a part of this installation. In the example that I saw projected, "Will vengeance heal?" is shown, and the reflection is "I have a dream".



Shiro - Nonotak Studio

According to the information about the installation, light, sound and performance pieces create immersive and dream-like states. This was not working fully because it will be demonstrated at set times during the weekend, and those wanting to view it should book ahead as space is limited. What I saw was that the panels of light seemed to show shapes and solid colour with a high sound volume, but I did not see anything else happen.



Digital Skin Live Interaction Station - Mateo Mounier + St Victoire Production

Digital Skin allows visitors to virtually paint one another and the background. They can also play with colour and pattern, which is projected onto them and the background. The resulting artwork can then be uploaded to social media. I watched the staff create artworks onto the bodies and background of participants by adding different patterns of colour onto a background and then using a solid colour to illuminate the face. This produced stunning results.



Transforming from Stardust - Lorna Carmen McNeill

This installation uses four fibre optic structures that appear to be in floral shapes. Each sculpture connects to a cosmic process and sequences different light colours and animation. Unfortunately, the placement of these meant that getting a photograph was very difficult due to others attempting to get photographs and the narrow passage and its close proximity of the installations. I would have liked to have seen this off the main pathway so that I could have enjoyed them without having to move for everyone.


Liter of Light - Mick Stephenson

Children from George Green's School on the Isle of Dogs helped to create this installation that allows bottles to be used to generate light. This concept took place at London Lumiere festival last year and has helped less fortunate people in the world obtain light without using electricity using plastic liter bottles. These plastic bottles can be coloured to give off a colourful glow. The science and charity behind this attracted a lot of attention at Lumiere last year, but this was sadly missing from the exhibit at Winter Lights.



Cosmic Radiophone - Interactive Agents

Cosmic Radiophone is an illuminated musical instrument that plays the sound of the Big Bang. The creation is from the work of Professor Mark Whittle of the University of Virginia, USA. This object must be interacted with; the 'liquid' inside the tube can be 'raised' up.


Our Spectral Vision - Liz West

This colourful panels seem to change in intensity when looked at in different angles. It is created using pure white light as a diversion and pure colour with glass to create the feeling that the colour moves.


We Could Meet - Martin Richman 

This permanent art installation was a part of the Winter Lights festival last year. It was commissioned in 2015 and consists of illuminated blue-purple rods that sit between the crossrail station and Canary Wharf in the small channel of water. It is meant to be seen from above, and the light intensifies and seems to pulsate. 


 This light installation is located in the shallow water below the new Crossrail terminal and consists of blue stalks of light with purple stalks of light on some of the ends. The effect was a little difficult to capture on camera. The artist played with colour perception in this piece to enable the viewer to see how the colours 'change' as they work together.

Cathedral of Colours - Mads Christensen + Quays Culture

These twelve columns of light respond to visitor movements. Light speeds through the columns to generate more light energy as people gather around and walk amongst the pillars. This was one of my favourite installations because it allowed interaction and displayed a good form of colour. I visited it twice because it was not as busy earlier in the evening, but it came to life later on.




Water Wall - Andrew Bernstein + Gregory St. Pierre

Water Wall is an interactive sound and light art installation. It uses a watery mist to project light onto. The light and shapes projected onto the watery mist are created from movement when the participant enters onto a certain area. The installation explores the relationship between movement, shape, and sound onto light and water; the projections seem to float on the mist. This was a highly interactive and immersive work that I enjoyed participating in to create my own light and sound projections. It was one of the highlights of the event.




Bloom - Sqidsoup

Thousands of glowing orbs of light sway on stalks and change colour in sequences. They respond to sudden changes in ambience and appear spring-like with floral pastel colours. Brighter colours, such as red and orange and blue, are also fair game. The lights flash and sequence in their own choreography to a soundscape. This was one of the most photographic installations.




Horizontal Interference - Joachim Slugocki + Katarzyna Malekja

This installation links trees with streams of light. Colourful horizontal bands link the trees in geometric patterns that seem to flow and transform the urban landscape.



Luma Paint Light Graffiti - Lichtfaktor Featuring Graffiti Legend + Helge Bomber Steinmann

Grafitti and light are combined to create this installation, which is probably similar to what I saw at London Lumiere festival last year. Any object, such as the ground or other viewers, becomes a canvas for the light to be 'written' onto it. This installation is only available to see on Friday and Saturday nights.


BIT.FALL - Julius Popp 

This installation was on display last year for Winter Lights and is a permanent feature at Canary Wharf. A similar water and light sculpture was located in the Olympic Park in 2012 underneath one of the bridges, and I watched it there. Live news feeds create the words that fall from the source so that the words are formed in mid-air before falling into the dock below. This sculpture attracted a lot of attention, and I also enjoyed watching which words would pop out next. Last year, it was difficult for me to leave as I wanted to see which word was coming up next and wanted to photograph one that had meaning for me. I was fairly happy with the word "Broadway".


Technogems - Franziska Vogt

Using ancient methods of creating items of gold, traditional techniques have been applied to marble stone. The geometric patterns created have then been highlighted using LED technology, and the sensors in the jewellery items respond to movement and light when worn. I looked for a long while for this, but I could not find it. It was listed as being in two places, but I was unable to locate it in either despite spending a long while looking.

Lightbench - LBO Lichtbank

Ten permanent lightbenches have been created for Canary Wharf and are placed in Canada Square Park. These benches are illuminated with soft, changing colours. Lightbenches was one of the installations last January for the London Lumiere festival. These attract a lot of attention as people enjoy taking photographs of themselves on the colourful benches.


Luminocity - Ice Rink Canary Wharf

The ice skating rink at Canary Wharf is a light installation itself. Every day, the ice rink presents a 10-minute sound and light show, transforming 8km of lights under the ice into a work of art.


Winter Lights in Canary Wharf is only on for another week. It runs from the 16th of January until Friday, 27th January. The installations are free to view and on between 4:00 and 9:00 at night.

Last autumn, street artists Bisser and Nils Westergard were in London, and I've only recently just come across a collaboration. Bisser is an artist from Belgium who was inspired by the mixture between comic books and grafitti. He painted a mural of a pig on Bacon Street last year. Nils Westergard is an American street artist, and he usually paints female portraits in black and white with different shades of grey. Both artists collaborated on their mural in the railway arches in Hoxton. The mural features two faces in each unique style by the artists. Bisser's more abstract piece incorporates the building furniture. He turns he door into a red mouth and puts hands around an air duct to turn it into a camera.


The below photograph is a detail of the work by Nils Westgard, who paints in a realistic impressionistic style using black and white paint to create portaits. His portraits are usually females, but he does also paint other subjects.


The detail below is the collaboration by Bisser and his care at integrating the building into his portait. His work is whimsical, and it's easy to see that he was inspired by comics and design.


In addition to the work above, I also discovered another painting on the same wall. The painting is of a very large spider; I think most people would run away if they saw one that large. Luckily, it was just a realistic painting. The work is by JPS, and I've come across some of his other work in the past; it took me a minute to realise where I saw his work before, but it was in his home town of Weston-super-Mare and Bristol. (I used to live near Weston-super-Mare.) JPS's work is comical and references popular culture, and he has a lot of respect for Banksy.


For more information about JPS, see the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/JPSstreetart/

Stik's "Past, Present & Future"

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Stik's (originally covered here) most recent work appeared in RED Gallery (at the Old Street and Great Eastern Street junction) toward the end of 2016. I had attempted to photograph it last year, but it was covered. I was happy to see that the work was uncovered once I returned to London following a break away. Stik's new piece is titled "Past, Present & Future"; it depicts three of his stick men. The stick men are looking in different directions (left, middle, and right) to symbolise the timing. 


There are additional works by artist Stik in this area too, and another one is located on the wall to the right. This can be seen here. This new artwork may be making a statement at how quickly London (especially east London) and the world is changing. Overall, it is a simple and an optimistic work.


Another recent mural by Stik was painted in 2015 and is covered here; it features a Stik disappearing with a wall that appears to be coming down. The artist is an expert at blending the characters into the environment that they reside in.

Back in 2013, I caught Austrailian street artist Reka One painting a building on Chance Street in Shoreditch (covered here), which ended up being titled "Fallen Angels" and featured geometric shapes of faces. The next year, the same wall was repainted by the artist with a new mural (covered here), which appeared to be fish and other objects; this was given the title "Keep Calm and Carry On". At the end of 2016, a new mural was revealed in the same spot on Chance Street.


Reka has given the new mural the title "The Union Jack". Montana Cans (spray paint) helped by giving the artist the cans that are based on the colours in the flag. According to the artist, he was inspired to paint based on the BREXIT (Britain exiting the European Union). 



For more information about Reka and this artwork, visit the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RekaOne/

Don't Fret is an artist from Chicago who started out as a grafitti artist but went on to create paste-ups and paint characters in silly situations to have a laugh at the world as well as to make a social or political statement. The artist visited London at the end of last year, and one of the murals left behind was the wall on Bacon Street that Belgian artist Bisser had painted earlier in 2016. This new artwork is a take on the artist's home town of Chicago. A farmer chases pigs, and a butcher waits. The refined hog sits on top of a man's head and sips a martini. dontfret01.jpg




In addition to the mural above, I did notice some sentences sprayed around London, such as "The Distinct Sound of Laughter in the Distance". I also saw a couple of character paste-ups with political themes. I did not realise that these were also from the artist and did not photograph them.

For more information about Don't Fret, visit his Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/dontfretart

Jay Kaes on Pedley Street

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

When I came back to London from my holiday in December, one of the new pieces of street art was by Jay Kaes. Kaes is based in London, so the city does get to see his work from time to time. This time, he painted one of the most popular walls off Brick Lane with a three-panel 'virtual reality'/'social media' scene. Kaes' work is often characterised with bright and bold colours, and they are often stylised in that "comic book" manner.





The artist's name appears on the wall in various places, but he may have been part of a collaboration with some of the image due to the mention of RMGW. If you know anything more about this, do let me know in the comments.

The Sketchbook Project Community

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The Sketchbook Project came onto my radar several years ago. They organise collaborative art projects and sketchbooks from artists all over the world and catalogue them like a library. They began in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia with over 70,000 artists. Now, they are based in Brooklyn and catalog over 35,000 artworks by different artists. They also display the works to the public to inspire others.

Suzie Scott - Make Mine a Double: Coventry, UK

Gavin Churcher - Heroes and Villans: Southampton, Hampshire, England

Holly Genzen - Fall Wildflowers of the Ocala National Forest: Florida, USA

Picamimi - My Life, Your Life: Istanbul, Turkey

For more information about The Sketchbook Project, visit the official website at https://www.sketchbookproject.com or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SketchbookProject/

Street Art By Sweet Toof, Mo, and Gold Peg

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Today's post features grafitti and street art by Sweet Toof, Mo (Mighty Mo), and PEG. These artists have been painting the walls around north and east London for a long time, and some of their work is amongst the oldest on the streets. Quite a few of these pieces were taken along the canal.


I originally covered Sweet Toof's work in a round-up post featuring other street artists here. Sweet Toof is London-based, although it's rare to find newer work from the artist. His trademark (or tag) is a set of bright pink gums and teeth. According to his Wikipedia page, the tooth is a favourite subject of his because it symbolises life as well as death. Some of his work features the faces of clowns or Shakespeare-like with the bright pink gums and teeth. If you are lucky, you can see his artwork on a boat in the canal.












The newest piece by Sweet Toof that I came across was the one below, which may have been a collaboration with another artist. It's not in the same style as his other work.


Of course, many of the pieces are collaborations with other street artists. The next piece is a monkey face, and these are located along the tops of several buildings; if you look up, you are bound to spot one. The artist is Mighty Mo, and I've previously covered his work in this post when he collaborated with other artists.


In some of the walls along the canal, I noticed that he collaborated with Sweet Toof a few times, including this image of his monkey character with the teeth.


Also, the image below shows a wall that Mightly Mo, Sweet Toof, Gold Peg, and possibly other street artists in The Burning Candy Crew collaborated on. Gold Peg's clothes pegs are a common sight in east London as well.


I will be adding more photographs of the artwork as soon as I come across them. At some point this year, I'd like to complete my canal walk to cover the remainder of the canal through Hackney Wick.

A new store dedicated to the famous toy brick, Lego, has opened in Leicester Square at the end of November last year. The shop was in the process of being constructed for at least the last couple of years. The lines/queues to enter the store were very long as it was busy, but I had a look at the new store a couple of weeks ago when I took a day off during the week. The Leicester Square Lego store is the largest Lego store and features several large-scale Lego models. In addition to these, it includes a Mosaic Maker that turns your image into Lego and includes printed instructions and the bricks to re-create it. The full-sized Lego models include Big Ben, telephone boxes, post boxes, map of London, a tube map, and a London tube. The tube is the largest structure in the shop and took over 637,903 bricks. Inside the tube carriage, visitors can sit next to other famous London-based celebrities, such as Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, and a Royal Guard.


The Lego store opens just in time for the holidays, which is just right around the corner from Covent Garden. Covent Garden often puts a display of Lego on during the season, and it was a little late this year. Last year, a steam train was the focus. Previous years of Christmas-themed sculptures built using Lego in Covent Garden included Santa and his reindeer, a large snowglobe filled with London monuments made from Lego that visitors could walk through and a large Lego advent calendar which was opened daily to reveal a new surprise.  












The Lego store in Leicester Square is open daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm, except on Sundays when it is open from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. It is located in the same area as a lot of similar shops dedicated to tourism trade, including the M&M store and the Nickelodeon shop. 

"Hunto Says Get Kissed Here" Mural

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Hunto is a street artist from Italy who is no stranger to London. I originally covered the artist's work here, but another recent mural that he completed last year was just off Brick Lane. Toward the end of last year, Hunto created a new mural on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch. The piece is titled "Hunto Says Get Kissed Here..." and the other side of the mural, which is painted on scaffolding, has two figures facing each other on it.


Another mural on the second piece of scaffolding shows another face.



While I was in Nuremberg at the end of 2014, I visited the Albrecht Dürer house, located in the old part of town near the castle. Dürer was a painter, engraver, and printer who lived from the late 1400s until the mid 1500s. He spent time in Italy and knew famous Renaissance painters da Vinci and Raphael. His work was praised. 


The Albrecht Dürer House in Nuremberg, Germany contains a gallery with a large selection of artwork from the artist, including some of his famous paintings. It is arranged in a gallery inside the house. The house also contains engravings, illustrations, and sketches that he made during his life. In addition, it includes personal possessions. The house itself has been left to what it would have been like during Dürer's life and time, and this also includes furniture. 





One of the rooms at the top also has information about the style of work and how it was achieved. Although the audio guide can be listened to in English, none of the information boards had English text on them, including the interesting techniques room. There was also a section with different colours of jars that were mixed with the paint to achieve certain colours. (This was interesting, but it was in German only and I could not read it.)




"Keep Out!" Street Art by Zabou

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

At the end of October, street artist Zabou refreshed her mural located near Petticoat Lane in London. Previously, it was the "Cabinet of Curiousity" mural featuring a Sherlock Holmes character. This time, the wall is titled "Keep Out!" and featured zombie children that look as though they are breaking out of the wall. In addition to painting the ghoulish faces, Zabou nailed up pieces of wooden board to the wall.





I always enjoy seeing new work by Zabou.

Pantone® 2017 Colour of the Year

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The Pantone® "colour of the year" has been decided, and next year is all about PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery. This is a yellow-green shade that reminds me of spring, and it is a fresh and reviving colour that makes me feel optimistic and hopeful. According to Leatrice Eiseman, "Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose." (1)

Image from Pantone®

Expect to see these colours used in the world of fashion, interior design, and other design over the next year. Some past 'colours of the year' are listed below.

2016: Serenity & Rose Quartz

2015: Marsala

2014: Radiant Orchid

2013: Emerald

2012: Tangerine Tango

2011: Honeysuckle

1) Pantone®. https://www.pantone.com/press-release-pantone-unveils-color-of-the-year-2017-pantone-15-0343-greenery [8 December, 2016].

London Street Art Review of 2016

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Although I could not really keep on top of what was happening in the street art world this year as much as I liked, I was able to discover a lot of new pieces, and I did attend some events and visited the areas in order to get photographs. This post will showcase some of my favourite pieces of street art that were in London in 2016.

John Dolan and George the Dog

In early Janaury, an all-female group of street artists had a paint jam on Blackall Street and left a lot of new artwork to be enjoyed. Not long after, JimmyC's existing David Bowie mural in Brixton became a popular icon as people left flowers and messages on the wall for the singer. (He also painted a new mural on Calendonian Road in the summer.)


Ant Carver is a London-based artist who creates paste-ups and finishes them with paint; his work mainly consists of portraits. He pasted a lot of his work up at the start of the year, and I saw a few new ones appear every now and again.


Ben Eine also made a return to London after a few years and re-painted over a couple of his existing walls and painted at Old Street. He painted "Like Nothing Else" on Ebor Street. He also painted "Last Days of Shoreditch".


Earlier in the year, Dale Grimshaw painted one of the most striking murals off Brick Lane to draw attention to Papau New Guinea. He would later paint the Village Underground wall in Shoreditch with a similar style.


Ador & Semor, a pair of French artists, painted a high-profile wall off Brick Lane. The piece included a child shooting an arrow into a carrot in a shopping basket.


It's also been a few years since Alice Pasquini, the Italian-based artist, visited London. This year, she was here for an exhibition and painted three small murals around east London. I do wish that she'd left something larger.


Louis Masai was popular this year with his work for Endangered13 in Bow in April; he helped to organise the event. I covered this in Part I and Part II as I came back on both days in order to see the progress. The paint jam had many artists collaborate, including Jonesy, Andy Council, Faunagrpaphic, Louis Masai, Vibes, Jim Vision, and more. I had a lot of fun visiting this.


Louis Masai also collaborated with Birdo in the summer at Bethnal Green and with Fanakapan in the spring for the Meeting of the Styles annual paint jam and created "Freedom?" showcasing sharks and dolphins in a plastic bag.


Also in the spring, London-based Mobstr created a couple of pieces, and this was the first of his works that I had seen in a couple of years. One of the pieces was a sculpture placed high on a lamp post: "He left me hanging when I was alone and high".


In the spring, American street artist Kai Aspire pasted up his three-dimensional pictures around Shoreditch and Brick Lane with social and political messages. Apparently, there are some around King's Cross as well, but I never found them. I loved tracking down the pieces by the artist.


DANK (Dan Kitchener) also painted throughout the year, but the largest piece, named "London Rush", is located at the far end of Hanbury Street. 


I loved the pig by Belgian street artist Bisser on Bacon Street. The big has a somber look and has the butcher lines across its body. It's also on the same walls as ROA's famous big and the butcher girl that Saki & B added a year or two ago.


Artista's artwork was continuously being added throughout the year with one wall on Blackall Street continuously being refreshed with her toast character. I loved checking back on this from time to time in order to see the changes. I wasn't able to capture every incarnation of the work as it would change frequently at times, and it was impossible to photograph it at other times due to the building work and fences placed in front or the odd photography studio deciding to use it as a backdrop in order to get portraits done.


Another artist who painted throughout the year is Zabou, and I photographed several pieces of her work. This included Cabinet of Curiousity, and various other murals on walls and shutters


London-based street artist Dreph painted many murals across London during the year, and his focus is primarily on portraits. I saw him painting one of these and photographed many more.


In October, one of the best pieces of the year was painted on the South Bank, near Borough Market. This is an area with no street art except for the one wall where it was painted. Australian artist JimmyC painted William Shakespeare's portrait on the wall, and it has attracted a lot of attention from tourists. This year marks 400 years since Shakespeare's death.


In November, Russian artist Lora Zombie left three murals in London, with "Tank Girl" possibly becoming my favourite of the three.


Toward the end of the year, the Urban Solid duo from Italy returned to London after a few years and pasted up some new sculptures around Brick Lane, and I had fun spotting these; some of these were very popular with tourists getting selfies.


The street art scene has been relatively quiet this year, and I think this is due to many of the walls disappearing as gentrification takes over. This year, there are fewer walls as there have been at least six areas that I can think of that have changed so that street art cannot be painted there anymore. Brick Lane still seems to be the focus area as the other areas are dwindling now.


Recent Comments

  • jenn: Thank you. read more
  • Murge: Amazing post. read more
  • Herbert: good post. site read more
  • Frank Quake: Hey, This is great when you said that I had read more
  • Chappy: You mention peptides here? I have had first hand experience read more
  • jenn: Thanks! I love the work. I have got more recent read more
  • Fanakapan: Thanks for the write up. This was some of my read more
  • jenn: Yes.... but that's only for the islands. Mostar and Montenegro read more
  • jenn: Hello, the code is not mine to hand out. I'll read more
  • pantich: More info about the best day trips from Dubrovnik can read more
OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID