Street Art hunting
On Thursday I was on a mission to photograph some work with my good camera that I’d found on Monday. That earlier foray was a quick look around before work when I had stumbled across some pieces that I’d seen online but had had no idea where they were until then. And I’d quickly snapped them with my phone.
As I headed down Pedley Street (Brick Lane area) I saw some ladders up against a wall and work in progress. How exciting to see a piece going up! And then when I saw who they were depicting, I felt a lump in my throat and great sadness. Rik Mayall had only passed away on Monday! His family and the world were still in shock at the unexpected news.
Rik Mayall (Comedian, writer, actor 7 March 1958 – 9 June 2014)
My own love of Rik Mayall and his work began with one of his very early sketches called Theatre which I saw on television. This was before his Kevin Turvey days when he simply called himself Rik. I’m guessing that it was part of the original comedy concert – The Secret Policeman’s Ball. At the time I was an aspiring actress and I never forgot the refrain from that sketch – “theatre, theatre, but I don’t know Vanessa Redgrave” which I found particularly funny. And as a family we all used to love the TV comedy the Young Ones. Though I think my mum found it all a bit strange. And then the C4 series The Comic Strip Presents…
His work was a huge cultural influence on my early years and his sudden premature death was very sad indeed. But it gave my heart a lift to see him being commemorated so soon and by such a young group of artists. By the way – those three men in the foreground of the photograph are not the artists. I think they were local residents who were enjoying watching the work go up.
I spoke to the team – Graffiti Life – and asked if they minded my taking photographs of them at work and they didn’t. So I snapped away. There was a surreal moment when one of the winos in the park who was also watching tried to persuade me that all the trainers hanging in a local tree were his work and wanted me to photograph it. I would have done if I hadn’t feared he’d then ask me for cash afterwards.
I love this next shot of the artists standing back to decide what needed doing next.
And here’s a couple more of them at work.
I had an enjoyable brief natter with them, sharing my current addiction to street art which they totally understood. One of them explained that there is now a subculture of photographers snapping the work. And some are on a mission to capture everything. Whilst I love much of what I see, that will not be me.
I was also fascinated to learn that they earn their living from painting murals inside offices and the like. Check out their website for more info if you’re interested. Graffiti Life. co.uk
Later that evening, around 8pm I was able to pop back and view the finished work. A group of lovely young ladies walked passed and entered that mysterious door to the right of the photograph below. And then I realised they were going to a nightclub. What an appropriate wall for Rik’s mural. I did take a photograph of the young lovelies but they merged into the colourful background of the wall paintings.
Forever Young by Graffiti Life