The new street art works popping up over the last few months have been reflecting the sign of the times. Lockdown has given us a chance to hugely appreciate the NHS – as in the shutters (painted by Atila) on Rise & Bloom and next door at Barry’s shop on Barry Road. We’ve been shopping local and travelling less, helping us pause and think about our consumption and climate change – as in Ant Carver’s Extinction Rebellion message of decaying woman and flowers mural on Felbrigg Road.
Ingrid Beazley set a precedent for great street art in our community with her very ambitious “Baroque the Streets” idea bringing world reknown international artists to the area. Ingrid passed this project my way, just as a few works needed repairing and saving such as Stik’s “Couple in a Landscape” Hansler Road, and the 3 by Mrs Robinson, destined for the skip! Even Conor Harrington’s “Fight Club” characters have a new anti-graffitti coating to preserve this iconic East Dulwich masterpiece. Repairs funding thanks to Southwark Council.
It’s a pleasure then to continue her legacy with a wonderful mural this July by local abstract artist, Remi Rough, who spotted the end house on Blackwater street as a possible blank canvas just ripe for one of his trademark dynamic and colourful pieces.
An established global artist on both canvas and walls, during these lockdown months, Remi had to postpone a major US large scale building mural. So it was a lovely window of opportunity for us in Dulwich to have Remi keen to produce this new artwork as “a gift to the community”.
Remi worked closely with Ingrid in helping source locations and artists for the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery, with the brief that the artists be inspired by Old Masters at nearby Dulwich Picture Gallery. Remi already had painted the wall on the side of The Bishop Pub, when he collaborated with fellow artist System in “Girl at a Window” on Vale End opposite East Dulwich station. System re-interprets Rembrandts Girl as a modern-day hoodie wearing teenager, whilst Remi remixes a totally different painting – picking out the geometry in Poussins “Triumph of David” in vivid angles and lines as the background of this mural.
One of Remi’s close friends is German artist Mad C, who painted and sprayed the swathes blue of “Lady Venetia Digby” by The Plough pub carpark, You may have seen a flash of this mural on the TfL advert earlier in the year. I was delighted when it popped up on the big screen at the ED Picturehouse – in the days when we all regularly went to the cinema.
Mad C had also painted her version of Van Huysem’s flowers on the tennis court wall in Belair park, but sadly this keeps being completely vandalised. After a couple of years of planning and emails, I’m pleased MadC is going to reproduce and relocate this design on a residential wall over the August bank holiday weekend. Flights/quarantine pending, we hope to see her in action during my street art walks over the weekend.
The next walk in Sunday 30th August.