Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Street art and thank yous

In my last post I promised some more pictures of the graffiti and street art around Shoreditch, so here's some iconic and not so iconic images from the Brick Lane area, taken by either myself or the Mr. If you're familiar with the area you'll recognise some that have been around for ages - others are more transient and will probably be gone next time I visit. Sadly some amazing murals have been removed already - apparently in a pre-Olympics clean-up a last year. Still, this is Shoreditch, you can't keep the artists down!

I'm really fond of this stork on a building backing onto some waste ground. If it was scrubbed off or painted over then I think the area would look more run down, not less. The detail and expression in the bird's eye is brilliant.

Technically speaking, the road signs in English and Bengali are not street art in the usual sense of the word. But it's an iconic picture which you always find on photography stands. You're spoiled for choice if you want to take your own version, as there are various places where Brick Lane is sign-posted. I think the old layers of paint on the eponymous bricks add to the grimy charm of this one.

Huge soldier opposite Absolute Vintage on Hanbury St.
 I don't know if this was commissioned. You'd need scaffolding or a cherry-picker

Round the back of the Sunday UpMarket

There's also a Banksy pink painted car which was too difficult to get a picture of, as it's protected in a perspex box, as is his signature. [Attempts to photograph it were thwarted by reflections]. I love Banksy, but that does make me laugh. When I was living in Bristol in 1995, you'd see his stuff everywhere, and it was usually promptly painted over by the council.

The great artist's 'signature' protected for posterity
Wonder if he'd re-sign if it was painted over?
Is it still a Banksy if his thumb isn't on the spray can?
 What if someone else uses a stencil he cut?
Loads of Damien Hirst's 'Spot' and 'Spin' paintings were done by other people, and still sold for a fortune.

Part of a large work near Shoreditch High Street station

One of the many many stickers which adorn virtually everything. 
Is it an advert for a club night? Or just an insult?

I love this one for the juxtaposition of two styles, although 
I don't know if Lady Godiva was added later by a different hand?

Quentin Crisp. At least I think so.

Outside Absolute Vintage. For the moment

Alice and the Hookers.

The above was done by the same person who did the robed figures and chair I showed in an earlier post. As it's made of paper and it poured with rain that day some of it has already begun to come away. Soon just the painted shadows on the pavement will show it was there.

Don't park your car on Hanbury Street, unless you want it to be eaten, crushed by a falling anvil, pooped on by pigeons (a hazard pretty well everywhere) or snipped in half.

My favourite this time was the graffiti below of a cartoon couple, painted in a doorway.  I think you have to be very clever artist to put so much expression into figures devoid of features other than dots for eyes. I also like the way the niqab wearing lady appears to be the more dominant of the two, her companion looking shyly up at her, his head turned down.

Moving on from the East End, but continuing with the home made art theme, I was really pleased to get a parcel in the post from the ever thoughtful Lucewoman. Look how beautifully she wrapped it up:

And inside, this amazing picture. Isn't she clever? Thanks so much Lucy, I love it.

Finally, I need to show you the fantastic 80s earrings which the lovely Loo sent me. Sparkly snake hoops! An excellent addition to my earrings through the ages collection. Cleopatra, comin' atcha!

Cheers Loo!

Lakota x


  1. I loved all the wall paintings, we have them here in some towns but not anywhere near me so that I could show you,your parcel was lovely also.

  2. I absolutely love this post, thanks for that! the parking signs are really funny :) the brick lane sign and the soldier pic are really iconic. This makes me wanna go to London soon ... :/

  3. I love Brick Lane and the Colombia Rd area and Shoreditch and I've been going there for years. Do you know, I must be so unobservant, I've never really noticed the art and those images. Must be too busy oggling at all those lovely vintage and trinket shops, I expect.

  4. Wow- what fantastic art- so often you miss what's right under your nose in a busy urban setting. Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my costumes xxx

  5. super pictures - i have seen a couple - but must go round with my eyes shut! thank you for sharing and showing. x

  6. WOW! Fabulous works! I love the stork and the hookers best but they are all really amazing -thank you for sharing them xx

  7. Hi there, another good reason to visit London! The art work on the streets of Shoreditch, is like visiting a museum, each picture tells a story. I like the bird painting, it looks like part of the building. I haven't seen too much art work on the Walls around here, but more near by in Bath though. Bx

  8. Gosh I haven't been to Shoreditch for years, must go soon - I love that stork, soo cool! x

  9. I really appreciate street art when it's well executed and thought provoking. The skill and detail are remarkable on some of these examples. It seems a lot if street artists don't crave fame and recognition, this is admirable. You've really made me want to visit the big smoke, I've only ever done cliched tourist stuff (and I'd have to go a long way to find alternative examples here).
    Love the earrings, say what you like about the 80's, but there hasn't been a better decade for dramatic and fun accessories.

  10. What lovely things from Lucy and Loo!
    That street art is amazing, I wonder if there's a heap of accidents from people admiring the art and walking into other people?
    It's fantastic that these artists create such wonderful things just to make the area more beautiful and to put a smile on people's faces.
    Goldie grew up in my town and we've still got a lot of street art he created. x

  11. Those are breathtaking. So much nicer than the tagging we have around here, though sometimes that can be pretty amazing. The earrings are cool, too.

  12. Great post! This is awesome! I hope to finish my graffiti compilation our end.
    Thanks for the lovely words you left on my post.
    Have a good week :)
    Joy x
    PS. I've added you on my blog roll. Sorry it took a long time.

  13. Love this post. The parking space graffiti is my favorite. While I love photographing the color and design, in my area it's mostly illegible tags and quotes. Nothing particularly moving. These are great!

    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

  14. Thanks for showing Lakota, I love it all-especially the detail in that stork. There is nothing like that here (plenty of grafitti-nothing clever!) We thought about commissioning an artist to paint the side of our house, but then we decided it would end up "scribbled" on..
    Love your pressies from the girls...I have an 80's party to go to next month...those earings would be perfect! Although they look quite timeless really xxx

  15. I love all the wall art amor.
    Especially the lady godiva an alice and prostitutes made me laugh.

  16. some brilliant strret art there thanks for putting it up, alice and the prostitutes is very cool x

  17. Great post. I love the street art in this country...especially London...brilliant sense of humour.
    Alice and the hookers is a favourite. I like the last one lots too.

  18. Wow. Great photos. We're def going to Brick Lane next time we're n London. I think the Wee Man would appreciate the street art. Thanks for posting.

    Madison xxx

  19. whoaaaa the huge bird looks so real, i guess it's okay to pain on the wall in shoreditch? some are soo funny, like the cars grafitti on the road hehe and my fave is also the comic couple, just adorable! alice and the hookers cracked me up! hahahaha and there's a giant winged ball hit a car, that is totally awesome with real car and all! hehehe so many creative people and they're very very good in drawing!

    i love the framed gift from lucewoman and yep who can forget the cleopatra jewellery you have, gorgeous!!

    xx Susan

  20. Wow that street art is amazing. There are so many talented artists out there. That bird is stunning. dee x

  21. awesome wall art except for the not so nice sticker. The markings on the road are funny, are they for real?


  22. wow that street art is incredible, nothing like that here just a few 'penis' shape drawings and some smutty remarks lol.

    Great gifts from the girls, love the picture luce did - brilliant! Scarlett x

  23. A great walk around your local street art. Thank you. I love the way that so many styles can be seen in one place. You can`t keep individuality down!

  24. Some great pictures of the street art. I particularly liked the stork and the paper people casting shadows on the footpath. They're lovely!

    We have some great stuff in suburbs NEAR where I live in Sydney. Around here you just get lame tags.

    Kate (still having commenting problems!)

  25. Brilliant post, loved reading it. You raise some interesting points about what 'makes' a Banksy, and you're absolutely right about the skill of the artist giving expression to the minimalist couple. It's a shame the olympic cleaners are taking a lot of it away, because they're taking the heart and soul of the district with it.

  26. I love it, street art is one of my all time favourite things. The thought of it all being cleaned up for the olympics makes me very sad though. We should embrace London's street art, it is part of the culture. Just see how important street art is to San Francisco's mission district is

  27. I love graffiti too, the stork is amazing, I wish there was more things like this around where I live. I think graffiti can be so expressive, its a shame that the council paints over or rubs it off. obviously if its offensive, its more understandable, but beautiful things like this are more works of art than defacing public property.

  28. Fantastic wall paintings - thanks so much! I am going to have to get back to London and travel around a bit more!

  29. Awesome pics... planning to do the same in East Oxford one day as there are some great pieces there x

  30. My OH was a student in Bristol around the same time you were there, which is why he loves Banksy. It is hilarious that his graffiti is now preserved in plastic - kinda loses the cool factor in a way!?

    Great pix!

  31. Hi there!! Thanks for sharing these photos, I adore Shoreditch and Brick Lanes photos and artwork, so unique and fabulous!! xx

  32. I love artistic graffiti, I think it lends a little something unique rather than being a nuisance and I hope those walls you snapped stay the way they are!! Especially the stork - that is truly stunning!

    Jem xXx

  33. amazing pictures!! love your blog!

  34. How freakin' cool!! I'm gaga over that crane painting!! I wish I could have it transferred to inside my house *winks*
    It sure looks like lady Godiva was added later by another artist...and what a perfect addition! I only wish we had graffiti like this in my city *winks* Vanna

  35. lovely photos,, the crane is amazing,, I love street art,

  36. The murals are great but I love the parking spaces, lol! Your blog is wonderful :) I'm following! Have a great week.


  37. Awesome photos! I would love for you to link up Thursday to "It's a Party"!


Thanks for your comment - it's no fun unless I know what you think!

If you ask a question others might want answering too I'll reply here in the comments - if it's personal, I'll reply directly by email if you're set up.