Hackney, A Vibrant World of Street Art
From the side streets to the rooftops, the underpasses and even the station platform, Hackney is a vibrant, colourful mecca to street art. If you start your journey at Cambridge Heath, Bethnal Green and follow the main Hackney Road to St Leonards Church in Shoreditch you will probably lose count at the number of individual pieces of art left by artists from the unknown to the renowned.
A vibrant world of powerful Hackney Street Art.
Don’t try and count the number of images – you will get lost as you stand and stare in awe at the powerful works of street art that jump off the buildings of the streets of Hackney. You will probably not want to get your camera out either – tempting as it is you can’t appreciate the true beauty of the amazing art behind a camera lens. These works of art have been created by artists from around the world. Hackney is a popular location for street artists from as far afield as Argentina and Korea. They all travel to this one particular borough to leave their stamp. In fact, Hackney gave rise to the infamous Banksy who created many of his works of art here before he became the world’s most well -known street artist. Some of his original work has been removed however given his fame and popularity some of it has been preserved like the Policeman and his Poodle which is protected behind perspex along with other examples of his work.
Explore every Hackney side street.
Clare Street is a well-populated street art area with works from artists like Alice Pasquini, Himbad, Trust Icon and many more. As you make your way up Hackney Road you won’t want to miss a single side street - Minerva Street, Pritchards Road, Garner Street, Ravenscroft Street…..the list goes on. Brick Lane is a great area to see some amazing examples of London’s finest street art with many music videos being filmed here such as The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done and Just Jack, Glory Days. Artists love to paint in Brick Lane as they know their art will be appreciated. It changes all the time – new work is always emerging along with new artists.
Expression of beliefs and power
Whilst some may see street art as a nuisance, as graffiti that has become too much of a problem to keep cleaning off, for others it forms part of cultural tours that are organised to give those that appreciate it’s true beauty information about the artwork and its artist. Those that are passionate about their work will tell you that their pieces are an expression of belief often talking about culture, acceptance and racism. These messages all have a meaning to their artist and those that appreciate them.
The sad reality is that these colourful brick walls are giving way to glass high rise buildings as developers move in and demolish these buildings without any consideration to the value of the art and what it means to so many. Much of the time the buildings that are set for demolition are a perfect blank canvas for artists to express themselves. Some of the more established and appreciated works of art are being protected – those from artists like Banksy for example. Others are just left to disappear amongst a pile of rubble which is a great shame. For those truly great pieces, they are committed to print before they are demolished as a constant reminder of these great works of art.