Tag Archives: flowers

Spitalfields – More Than Just Street Art

Street Art needs walls! Whether its Shoreditch or Spitalfields, street art may hang on hoardings, stick to street signs, augment adverts, decorate doors or flourish on flyposters but wondering at walls is the main thing on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour.  Walls beg a secondary purpose (wink) and minds distracted from art may dwell on fortuitous factors such as boundary, division, shelter, protection, property, privacy and possibly even more – where would windows hang if not framed in walls?

We pass a lot of walls on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour and a lot of wondering what lies within and behind those walls occurs.  Today the good people behind the doors of 8 Spitalfields properties invited the world in to see their urban gardens and we were delighted and fascinated.

Close by, Brick Lane teems with colour, noise and life but within these private Spitalfields spaces there is serenity, tranquillity and a sense of calm seclusion.  There is also tremendous inventiveness and creativity in the use of tiny scraps of urban space.  “Nothing but rubble below this paving” said one owner in his back garden; “foundations 5 brick deep” said the owner of another 1740s silk merchant’s property.

All the properties visited lie within the Fournier St and Brick Lane Conservation Area with the exception of the offices of The society For The Protection of Ancient Buildings at,37 Spital Square   which is in the Elder St Conservation Area.  All except one of the properties is Grade II listed.  Whilst fascinated by history, Shoreditch Street Art Tours makes no claim to being historians.  There are some fascinating reads to be found online which provide contest for the historical development of Spitalfields and its properties, such as “The Hugenots Of Spitalfields” website, the Spitalfields Trust  and the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum website

The Spitalfields gardens were open as a group as part of the National Garden Scheme open day programme which clearly does great work raising funds for a variety of charities and we are grateful to the residents for opening their doors to provide such a fascinating insight to parts of Spitalfields not normally accessible by the public.

For those of you who explore the outsides with us, here is a collection of photos that is a bit horticulture, a bit architecture, a bit nosy-parker but mostly a record of a nice opportunity to view Spitalfield’s insides, withins and behinds.

All photos: Dave Stuart

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Ludo, London, Street art, East London Trades Guild, Paste ups, flowers, weapons, connections,

Ludo In London

A few weeks ago French street artist Ludo visited London and put up three large paste ups in his signature style. There are a little north of Shoreditch but were well worth making the journey to find.

Ludo, London, Street art, East London Trades Guild, Paste ups, flowers, weapons, connections,

One of the pieces found a very interesting connection with the owner of the business whose wall Ludo’s floral grenade adorns.  Len Maloney, proprietor of JC Motors LNM faces a battle to save his business in the face of massive inflation busting rent and rate rises on his premises and felt that the grenade in the flower captured exactly how he feels.  In a quote for Graffoto Len said  “I was puzzled at first by this huge flower but I stepped back and realised the flower was growing a grenade.  TfL have put up my rent and Hackney Council under pressure from central Government are jacking up the business rates, I have a real fight to keep this business that I have worked so hard for over the years going.  My staff would be unemployed, apprentices might not finish their apprenticeships, opportunities for future apprenticeships and employment will disappear.  I feel I could explode and the artist’s grenade flower seems to capture how I feel.  TfL are about to pull the pin!”

Ludo, London, Street art, East London Trades Guild, Paste ups, flowers, weapons, connections,

Left to right: Jay, Peter, Singh, Hakeem and Len outside JC Motors, Stean St, Haggerston

When asked why he chose this spot for this piece of art, Ludo told Graffoto “the spot just felt great for me visually…from the barbed wire, the bricks, textures…that’s how I find my spots as I don’t really know what’s going on inside.   The only thing that motivates me is to tell a story and the background is as important as the artwork”.   So, that Len saw such a specific relevance in the artwork to him and his team is pure serendipity; “good thing about art is you take it as it touches you” says Ludo.

Ludo, London, Street art, East London Trades Guild, Paste ups, flowers, weapons, connections,

There is more about the background to that story and flashbacks to brilliant art Ludo has put up on London’s streets in the past decade on Graffoto (link).

Ludo, London, Street art, East London Trades Guild, Paste ups, flowers, weapons, connections,


Ludo website

East London Trades Guild

All photos: Dave Stuart