“From that point, exploring the streets of East London to find street art became a hobby.”
There are many Londoners who can say the same. Street art has become part of the community in Shoreditch. It’s impossible not to be absorbed by the colours and patterns that adorn the streets. The works of art have a gritty yet charismatic edge that the street art of other cities has yet failed to replicate. It’s skilfully crafted work with a no-nonsense punk attitude.
An ever-changing canvas
Of course, all street art is temporary, and as such, is often hard to share and even track down. This makes the thirst for discovery huge. There’s something extremely satisfying about stumbling upon a jaw-dropping mural, only to find that it’s been covered with something completely different the next week. It’s as though you’re in on a secret with the artist. Moments like this are happening every day in London. It’s this dynamism that keeps street art fresh, exciting and progressive.
This fast turnover is also what leads many enthusiasts to record their finds. “It was due to the ephemeral nature of street art that I began to document what I was seeing,” reveals Mark. “I took to the streets with my camera, taking pictures on film at first (and switching to digital later), before the artworks were removed by the city council, faded by the elements or covered over by illegal fly-posters.”
Thanks to people like Mark, there are several street art blogs, Facebook pages and Instagram accounts thriving online – something else that has transformed the way the world regards street art.