Anyone travelling on the A12 past Bromley By Bow tube station cannot fail to notice the eyesore of a building directly opposite. It’s been a while since this sorry looking place saw any sort of care and attention and will no doubt soon be demolished. That whole area in fact has seen better days, situated as it is in a patch of waste ground just next to a Tesco Service Station. An old office block and a beaten up old former warehouse are all that remains of what must have been a busy workplace back in the day.
No suprise then that some of East Londons most notorious Graffiti Artists have honed in on this place like a spray can to a wall and done what only they can do best. Paul Insect in particular has created some funky little pieces across both buildings whilst the likes of Sweet Toof and Rowdy have added their unique styles onto the roof of the office block. This blog has covered some of the work here before, a fun piece in the courtyard by Sweet Toof and Insect.
These guys are not your traditional street artists. In fact, I doubt very much that they’d call themselves street artists at all! As for traditional, they’d probably say that they were around well before hipsters became a descriptive term and the words ‘dope’ and ‘sick’ were used only to describe a mild narcotic and an upset stomach.
They yearn for difficult spots to paint and they don’t really care whether anyone sees the work or not. They paint in awkward places, the harder to reach the better and do what others dare not. They wouldn’t be seen dead at a paint jam and just forget live painting for the tourists on Brick Lane! They stay out of sight and they certinaly wouldn’t allow themselves to be caught on camera by the likes of this blog or any of the other instagrammers, tweeters and various other obsessives of social media out there.
Of course it’s great fun speculating. My plan was to go and spot some of this new work for myself, particularly the new Paul Insect characters. With me was the street art and architectural photographer @eastldngeezer who gets everywhere and whose excellent instagram account is always full of the latest art around town. So starting with the Paul Insect pieces we’ll take a little photographic journey around the area so you don’t have to and try and spot some of the graffiti art on display.
Just around the corner from the buildings is the River Lea Navigation and in the section between the the Three Mills and the Bow Roundabout underpass a lot of the same artists have got together once more. Sweet Toof, Rowdy, Paul Insect and Cobra have taken to decorating the canalside, again getting where most artists don’t. Sweet Toof in particular has often used this canal as a canvas and a wander up along the towpath towards Hackney Wick will result in many pieces becoming visible.
For more Inspiring City posts featuring some of the artists in this post try: