The Baroque the Streets art festival of the past two years has certainly left it’s mark on the streets of leafy Dulwich. Possibly as far removed from a street art haven than you might think it has formed the basis of the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery.
Street artist Stik started it all off in 2012 when he collaborated with Ingrid Beazley from the Dulwich Picture Gallery to recreate old masters on the streets of the area. Now in 2013 the likes of Conor Harrington, ROA, Nunca, Remi Rough and System, Reka One and MadC have joined the party. All this is in addition to the arthouse created by Street Art London which saw a suburban house taken over and every inch of space painted by top drawer artists.
Exploring the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery
There’s a nice little walk that can show you most of the art around the area, starting at Peckham Rye station, walking through East Dulwich and finishing at West Dulwich. The walk would take around 2 hours.
From Peckham Rye station turn right from the exit through the covered walkway and turn right again once you reach Blenheim Grove. Walk to the end and turn left down Bellenden Road. The first piece by ROA is just on the corner of Choumert Road. To see it though continue walking for about 10 metres and look back. There high on the wall of the Victoria Inn is a dog drawn recently by the Belgian artist. The dog is inspired by some of the animals featured in paintings in the gallery, namely works from Philips Wouwerman (Halt of the Hunting Party) and Adam Pynacker (Landscape with Sportsmen and Game).
Keep going down Bellenden Road following the road as it turns into Avondale Rise and then turning left on Pythchley Road. At the junction with Dog Kennel Hill turn right and walk towards East Dulwich station, opposite which is the next piece of street art from Remi Rough and System. This piece is inspired by Rembrandt’s ‘Girl in a Window’ possibly one of the most famous pieces of work in the gallery and covers the entire wall.
Keep going down the road as it turns into Grove Vale until you come to the roundabout. Here in East Dulwich there are plenty of places to stop and get a drink. On the left hand side of the pub on the other side of the roundabout is a massive mural from Conor Harrington of two men boxing. This piece is more inspired by the violent themes depicted in various works rather than one particular piece.
Take the turning for Lordship Lane, this section of road has plenty of shops. Soon watch for a turning on the right, Blackwater Street. There are two Stik pieces here drawn in 2012. The first is on the wall close to the junction with Lordship Lane, the other is opposite in a dance studio. The works here are based on pieces called ‘Mrs Elizabeth Moody and her sons Samuel and Thomas’ by Gainsborough and ‘The Guardian Angel’ by Marcantonio.
Keep working your way down Lordship Lane, take the turning on the right on Townley Road and then the first left on Beauval Road. There on a garage door is the next Stik.
Make your way back to Lordship Lane and continue down. The arthouse if it’s still there is on the left a few metres from the junction.
On the corner of Barry Road on a busy junction is the new piece from Nunca, a Brazilian artist from Sao Paulo. His piece is the only one that doesn’t take inspiration direct from the Picture Gallery, rather it is a commentary on colonialism with the ‘Queen Bee’ holding court over her subjects.
Keep working your way down Lordship Lane until the junction with Court lane on the right. The lane takes you back on yourself a bit. Soon after the junction on the left on the front of a suburban house is a piece by Stik. Then about 50 metres down there is another. It is quite random to see these on some rather manicured properties but they really do fit the environment.
Soon after turn left into Dulwich Park. Walk through the park and head for the Bowling Green in the centre. There a piece from Stik based on a work by Murillo and a mural from Thierry Noir can be seen. Noirs work is an interpretation of ‘Joseph Receiving Pharaohs’s Ring’ by Giambattista Tiepolo.
When you get to the nearest path in the park head left and the many footpaths should bring you out onto college road. There opposite the exit is Dulwich Picture Gallery, the inspiration for all the street art in the area. There’s a good cafe there should you want to stop although be warned it’s a but pricy. Go through the grounds of the gallery and you’ll come out at Gallery Road. Once there turn right and at the junction with Thurlow Park Road you should see West Dulwich station which is the end of the walk.
Opposite the train station on the wall of a tennis court is the last piece of art to see from MadC it reinterprets the work of still life master Jan van Huysum. Identifiable because of the tiny insects included within the piece. The exact piece interpreted is ‘Still Life with Flowers in a Stone Vase’.
The Street Art Gallery has certinaly added some colour and interest to this hidden away part of London and wandering around can be rewarding especially when one considers the level of talent on show. Some of the worlds biggest street artists have contributed to the project and as such it makes this a truely unique project.
For those wanting even more information check our this fantastic video made about the project
The concept is brilliant and the Dulwich Street Art walk itself is a real must do! The guide was super informative, giving us heaps of interesting stories about the street artists themselves, and the twists and turns to this amazing project that seeks to get street artists to paint based on inspiration from paintings at the Dulwich Picture Gallery! Really worth a visit; a hugely inspiring project.