To be more accurate, this is a “ride by”. Brick Lane, a veritable spinal column supporting ribs of street art in its side-streets has been closed to through traffic. Pedestrianised is perhaps too strong a word for the transformation but Indian curry houses have expanded outdoors sending furniture, serving waiters and hustling barkers onto the pavements. A colourful and beautifully fragrant sense of cafe life has descended onto the street. Cyclists and pedestrians roam where fume belching vehicles once ruled and we were able to capture a sense of walkers and cyclists enjoying this new found freedom against a backdrop of wonderful street art.
Video by Dave Stuart
Shoreditch based street art Stik was beavering away on a new mural in Old Street for 4 days up until last Sunday. At times the elements were not in his favour but he gritted his teeth and ploughed on. Several of our tour groups last week and over the weekend had the pleasure of chatting with Stik as he took short breaks from his painting to come and check on how his characters looked from street level.
Just a few days after finishing his landmark painting, a short film has come out following Stik in the build up to this mural in which he seeks to establish a community context for his painting. It is a fascinating painting with a fascinating story.
On a balmy warm week in mid 2014 the Shoreditch Street Art Tour came across a complex permissioned street art installation by the street artist Cityzen Kane. Cityzen Kane has now put up a film of the making of “Portal”, the immensely popular sculptural piece.
The film captures the intensity and the amount of handcraft Cityzen Kane puts into his sculptures.
That week, Shoreditch Street Art Tours had the pleasure of being joined by the Vagabrothers from San Diego and they were able to do a quick interview with Cityzen Kane as he installed that piece, it comes up 2’40” into their Shoreditch Street Art video (look out for their subliminal appearance in Cityzen Kane’s video at 6.40) .
Cityzen Kane’s portal was put up as a tribute in memory of his son Joe who had taken his own life a year earlier. Given the tragic nature of its inspiration, it is perhaps poignant that from time to time the central figure actually cries in the rain:
Portal – detail
Cityzen Kane’s personal message reads:
Help save young and vulnerable lives from the despair of depression, Shatter the stigma around suicide. Please support www.papyrus-uk.com or www.thecalmzone.net
June 2017 Update: CityZenKane’s Portal is no longer on that wall but in the spirit of his intent and message, I thought I would let you know about A Guide to UK-based Free Mental Health Helplines by Cassiobury Court.
Paul at Cassiobury Court writes that there are fourteen different helplines in the guide. He wrote the guide because many helplines of this nature exist, and people seeking out the services of these helplines may be confused by their sheer number. This guide helps to demystify these helplines so people can select the most appropriate one for their needs.