Should this Shoreditch Street Art Tours post start with an apology to the spraycan virtuoso Jim Vision? Perhaps.
Last night we held a short notice online virtual ramble through some of the art that provided great food for thought on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour in 2021. With the benefit of being able to show slides from the past, we were able to look at the waxing and waning of Jim Vision’s Jerome St mural which concluded with the photograph shown at the top of this post mural taken 2 days earlier on 29th December. This is the story of that mural and it ends with the dramatic update based on what we found today!
The history starts in 2020 with a curved wall pretty heavily battered with graffiti of varying styles and levels of accomplishment. The artistic highlight on the wall was probably back in 2014 with a beautiful paste-up from the French street artist Ludo.
Forward to 2020 and Jim Vision secures consent to paint the wall with permission and has claimed the spot as his since, painting a couple of portraits as part of his admirable “Colourful Women” series. In the artist’s words this was “celebrating all women of colour with their vibrancy and strength, at the same time addressing an imbalance in the representation of women of colour on walls. This first dates from early Summer 2020.
The next portrait on this wall came complimented by a pod of killer whales. In this next early December 2020 photo we see the mural in great condition with 8 killer whales swimming through, to the right is a cluster of illuminations and the background is an abstract veil of almost luminous vertical streaks.
Just a few days later the negative spaces in the margins have been targeted with graffiti, including sundry tags and a nice piece by Lap in the background:
Things are relatively unchanged by July 2021, a throw has gone over the cluster of lights to the right, a couple of tags and Lap in the background appears to have been painted out. Still the augmentations are occurring away from the main subject:
By October there is fascinating development in the artistic interactions taking place on this wall, Jim Vision covers up new tags with the creative and playful expedient of adding Orcas where the tags were. Now the pod has grown to 20 killer whales and something a bit albino, or perhaps a 21st whale with only its white parts turned to us:
Halfway through December heavy tagging appears in quite aggressive spots at the centre of the portrait and a green tag close to the front of the face where the white whale was. Ours is not to cast judgement!
Then, on 29th Dec, a new killer whale appears to be likely to see in the New Year, its placaement jumping through the earring brings to mind the cruelty involved in keeping these beautiful beasts in captivity in sea life parks. This was the state of play at the conclusion of the timeseries presented in the “The Best Of Shoreditch Street Art Tours 2021” virtual tour last night (New Years Eve):
New Years Day, this morning, look what we found:
Gonna take a lot more whales!
Jim Vision instagram
all photos: Dave Stuart