A few weeks go my friend Marylin was in London and she suggested Alternative London‘s street art walking tour. Unfortunately she and I couldn’t go together, but I did get a chance to check it out for myself. The tour goes through London’s East End and shows huge murals, tiny sculptures, and something made from plaster. Let’s get to the pictures.
First, the guide showed us tiny bronze sculptures done by Jonesy. These were hard to spot at first, hidden on top of street signs. Hidden might not be the right word, but not likely something I’d spot.
We also saw a beautiful crane painted by Roa. Something I thought was cool is that it wasn’t painted with spray paint! I thought street art was all about spray paint but it’s not! The picture below of the ocean scene is actually a big sticker! Another thing I learned is that in London all you have to do is get permission from the building owner and you can paint the building. So there is illegal art (like the bronzes above) but a lot of it can be legal. Anyway I really liked this small section because everywhere I looked there was something else to see. Also, everything was so beautiful and detailed. I was really impressed! What was cool is that often these art painted over every few months so not only is the area awesome, it’s constantly changing. My favorite though was the red hair lady done by Quendo – and I liked that just because the tag is close to my maiden name.
As we walked around we saw lots of stuff even if even we didn’t stop to talk about it. We also saw some artists actually painting. I liked that some things were small, hidden, and subtle. I sort of expected everything to be large and I liked that some things I wouldn’t have noticed at first. The street sign art is done by Clet Abraham. I had seen pictures of these before and so it was cool to see two in person.
The last two pieces of art I saw were my favorite!! One was Star Wars themed and done by Space Invader. Apparently Space Invader and his friends put this up illegally, but maybe because it is so well liked no one took it down. The last piece was a face done by Vhils. It’s not Bob Marley, but I don’t remember who it is. This one is so cool because it is made out of plaster!!! To get the color change Vhils used explosives and a jack hammer. How amazing is that?!
Not related to street art, I also wanted to share what Ryan and I did this weekend. On Sunday, I planned a tour all over London. We started out near home at Le Peche Mignon. We’d never been there before but greatly enjoyed Eggs Benedict and coffee for breakfast in their outdoor back garden. We then took the bus across town to west London to visit Daunt Books. The bookstore is gorgeous and is in a former Edwardian bookshop. We then went back towards central London to Twinings. The shop opened on the Strand in 1706 and has been in operation ever since. The building is long and skinny. In the very back are a few cases with historical artifacts, in the middle there is a station for tea tasting, and in the front are all kinds of teas. Ryan and I bought chai. We then walked to the east and went to the Orange Buffalo. This place was rated London’s best wings, and they didn’t disappoint. They were spicy, saucy, and a bit crunchy. I loved them.
Ok, that’s all for now. More pictures and stories from London next Tuesday.