Gentrification Takes More East London Street Art Walls

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East London has been under development extensively for the past several years, but the past three have been especially significant. I have seen the changes coming more rapidly with recent visits to east London markets and areas becoming almost unrecognisable with the introduction of small cafes and specialist shops with trendy names and interiors. This leads me to a post on reflection of east London's street art scene (specifically around Shoreditch, Spitalfields, Hackney Road, Hoxton, and Bethnal Green).


Hackney Road contained a few street art walls. Some of these disappeared with the introduction of a hotel and flats four years ago. Until sometime in the last three months, we still had a popular bit on the corner near Hoxton station where there was an empty space for cars to park, some older buildings and walls, and a garage. The whole block of this area of Hackney Road was covered with beautiful pieces of street art that (at one point) changed quite often. 

I also met the organisers of the street art on these walls here, a nice chap who was really into street art and friendly with some of the artists. A friend outside London who I was introducing London's street art to and I had a long chat with him.

Now, these walls are gone. The wonderful pieces by Stik, Dreph, Zabou and countless others that were gracing these walls three months ago are now gone. London has lost another street art area. Hackney Road street art scene is virtually no more, save for a tiny blip by Ion Square and Clare Street. 

In their place, a single piece of grafitti remains. It is a rough illustration of a yellow submarine with the words "We all live in a broken cash machine" underneath, a take on the Beatles' song and lyrics in "Yellow Submarine".

Many walls have disappeared to gentrification with the casulatities of some of my favourite street art haunts gone: Blackall Street, Great Eastern Street, parts of Brick Lane, Star Yard, Old Street, and many more.

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