Tuesday, 14 July 2015

East London Street Art Tour

Alternative East London Walking Tour

Hello hello hello!

I must apologise for how quiet my blog has been over the past week or two... It's been a super busy time but I'm back with a post full of colour, creativity and East London goodness!

You may remember that Agata & I have been (and still are) running around the city like mad things trying to complete our London List - check it out here if you missed it! One of these things was a street art tour around East London, so last Saturday we set off with Josh from Alternative London Tours to do just that.

The tour started at the white goat statue near Old Spitalfields Market...

Meeting place at the white goat statue, London

... and after a brief introduction, we set off on our walking tour. 
The great thing about this tour was that we learnt not only about street art but also a lot about the history of the area - and it proved to be very interesting!

I won't try and retell the facts and figures that Josh expertly weaved into the conversation (mostly because I can't remember half of them), but I urge you to go on the tour yourself - I'm positive you'll learn something new.

Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour

Josh lead us all around East London, covering everything from graffiti to street art to stencils and much more. He talked about the prejudice that surrounds street art and showed us the difference between the works that were done speedily while trying not to be caught to the works that had permission and could take their time.

Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour

This piece was a collaboration between two artists with very different styles. As you may be able to tell, one did the geometric block colour background, while the other did the incredibly detailed picture in the centre. The artists are Elian Chali whose website you can find here and Alexis Diaz who you can check out here

Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour

We were lucky enough to be doing our tour while a street art "event" of sorts was taking place. 
Josh, being an artist himself (find him on Instagram here), was very respectful to the artists. He explained to us that when you're just doing your thing and a whole bunch of tour groups come and watch you and take photos, you feel a bit like an animal in a cage at a zoo. Fair enough right?

For this reason, we only dropped by quickly to see what they were up to and he advised us to return later in the day in smaller groups if we were really interested.

Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour

While wandering around the streets, we walked past a shop called Shoreditch Junk. 

East London really is one of the only places that would display a "kiss my black ass" sign next to a statue of Virgin Mary... Hilarity!

Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour

There is so much street art that goes unnoticed as we go about our busy lives. Take this little fella for example...

Alternative East London Walking Tour

The artist is a guy that goes by the name of Jonesy. He creates these amazing little bronze sculptures and places them discreetly on the top of poles all around the place. It's incredible how many you can spot in the area once you know they're there!

The one pictured above was particularly cool as the wings you see were cast from actual pigeon wings! You can see more of Jonesy's journey here.

Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking TourAlternative East London Walking Tour

The creativity behind some of these works of art blows my mind. 

In this one, the artist covered the wall in plaster and then proceeded to chip out the detailing, resulting in a pretty impressive end result. Up close it just looks like a bunch of dots and lines...

Alternative East London Walking Tour

... but step away and it's truly astounding! The artist behind this masterpiece is called Vhils and you can find out more about him here.

Alternative East London Walking Tour
Alternative East London Walking Tour

After finishing off the tour, we were in dire need of an alcoholic refreshment! (naturally...)

We headed to a certain secret bar underneath a certain branch of a popular group of caf├ęs, accessed only through the SMEG fridge by those who are in the know... Any guesses?

Cocktail at The Mayor of Scardey Cat Town, London

I'll let you ponder over that one! I must say though, my cocktail was everything I craved and more.

I cannot recommend Alternative London Tours enough (website here) - whether you're visiting London or living in the city, they're bound to have something for everybody. 
The tour we did was called the "London Walking Tour", but they also have ones like food & drink tours, an East London bike tour and even street art workshops! It definitely needs to be on everyone's London list.

I hope you have all had a fantastic start to your week,

2 comments:

  1. How was this event? I really want to know it. Because now I can only go to Birmingham's events, because I have too much work and no time to go somewhere. But if you live in the Dame city with me, I'll glad if you go somewhere with me. Just look at the list on https://ticketselect.co.uk/events/birmingham, choose one or couplevand tell me then. And we'll go there! That'll be fun.

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