An Alternative Photographic Journey through the Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel for Femme Fierce

Last week’s Femme Fierce Leake Street Takeover provided more than enough photographic opportunities to keep me busy for a while. The tunnel always attracts artists but never quite as many at one time as the 106 female artists who descended on it on International Women’s Day.

In terms of the event itself there’s not really a lot more that can be said. The success or otherwise of the World record attempt to create the largest mural by multiple artists won’t be confirmed for a while yet as the evidence is presented. I personally don’t even think it matters all that much though, it’s certainly a nice to have but the biggest success about the weekend was its ability, not only to recognise the talent of female artists but to put ‘street art’ as such on the map.

The Leake Street graffiti tunnel packed out with artists and photographers

The Leake Street graffiti tunnel packed out with artists and photographers

I’m not sure that I can remember a street art event that has quite caught the imagination of so many media types and which has managed to capture the interest of people from all around the country and the World. One thing’s for sure, it certainly provides a launchpad for similar events in the future and as Ayaan Bulale, the Street Art Agency’s mastermind behind the event told me, “there’s lots more exciting events planned”.

So I thought that for this post it would be nice to see an alternative view of Leake Street. I took a load of photographs on the day capturing the event from start to finish. I also purposely brought along my trusty Nokia Lumia 1020, a camera phone that has an uncanny ability to take good shots in low light situations, crucial for getting good quality pictures in the dark tunnels of Waterloo. The other great thing about this particular camera phone is it’s in-built ‘Creative Studio‘ feature which gives you the ability to make cool looking edits, in phone and with minimal effort.

I’ve therefore, edited, doctored and basically re-rendered a lot of the shots I took to present an alternative look at Leake Street during the takeover. I hope you like the gallery 🙂

An Alternative View of Femme Fierce

The walls of the tunnel were turned pink for the day with paint donated from the Forest Recyling  Project

The walls of the tunnel were turned pink for the day with paint donated from the Forest Recyling Project

The Old and the New,  bright pink walls with some more 'traditional' stuff on the roof

The Old and the New, bright pink walls with some more ‘traditional’ stuff on the roof

The whole tunnel became a blitz of colour

The whole tunnel became a blitz of colour

There was a lot of pink paint around

Everywhere you looked there was pink

Neonita, part of the Girls of Top Crew, making a start

Neonita, part of the Girls of Top Crew, making a start

Applying the first layers

Cilla applying the first layers

Vanesa Longchamp, also known as Vlong with a golden hue

Vanesa Longchamp, also known as Vlong with a golden hue

The ever popular Amara Por Dios being photographed and not for the first time that day

The ever popular Amara Por Dios being photographed and not for the first time that day

Saki and Bitches making a start, I was struck with her awesome orange shoes

Saki and Bitches making a start, I was struck with her awesome orange shoes

Roo's mural would eventually be judged to be the best of the day.  Here she is at the outset

Roo’s mural would eventually be judged to be the best of the day. Here she is at the outset

More interviews being conducted, this by a bright in your face 'Femme Fierce' tribute

More interviews being conducted, this by a bright in your face ‘Femme Fierce’ tribute

I really like this picture of Pang and her bright orange bobble hat.  She is mid interview and so expressive in this pic

I really like this picture of Pang and her bright orange bobble hat. She is mid interview and so expressive in this pic

One of my favourite pieces of the day was from Miss Hazard from Bristol.  Here she is posing with a spray can.  I think the mural she has drawn looks like a self portrait

One of my favourite pieces of the day was from Miss Hazard from Bristol. Here she is posing with a spray can. I think the mural she has drawn looks like a self portrait

Lana Alana featured in a special Inspiring City interview prior to the event and so it was great to see her in action.

Lana Alana featured in a special Inspiring City interview prior to the event and so it was great to see her in action.

Akit a graffiti writer for many years from above as she paints her section

Akit a graffiti writer for many years from above as she paints her section

Vanesa Longchamp once more in the midst of her work before she really starts to add some colour

Vanesa Longchamp once more in the midst of her work before she really starts to add some colour

Zabou's 'Girls Reload' Nuns were a real fan's favourite on the day

Zabou’s Girls Reload Nuns were a real fans favourite on the day

This artist had one of the most challenging spots in the tunnel to paint but what a job she did, it became one of the brightest pieces there.

This artist had one of the most challenging spots in the tunnel to paint but what a job she did, it became one of the brightest pieces there.

Ashes 57 used her trademark character to good effect in this mural.  She normally paints in black and white so I've doctored the pic a little bring some of the black and white back

Ashes 57 used her trademark character to good effect in this mural. She normally paints in black and white so I’ve doctored the pic a little bring some of the black and white back

It wasn't just the artists getting attention on the day there were various other photo shoots going on too including this fashion one

It wasn’t just the artists getting attention on the day there were various other photo shoots going on too including this fashion one next to work from Motel 7 from South Africa

The Girls on Top crew were really out in force

The Girls on Top crew were really out in force, this is Candie Bandita

Neonita also from Girls on Top Crew working blurringly quickly

Neonita also from Girls on Top Crew working blurringly quickly

Most of the artists wore masks.  It made sense because there were a lot of paint fumes

Most of the artists wore masks. It made sense because there were a lot of paint fumes

Boxhead with some of her iconic boxes, a popular stop for photographers

Boxhead with some of her iconic boxes, a popular stop for photographers

This is one of my favourite images, it's the barrel of pink paint that was used to coat the walls

This is one of my favourite images, it’s the barrel of pink paint that was used to coat the walls

Miss Hazards work was bright and colourful, here I've picked it out a bit more to try and give it some even more impact

Miss Hazard’s work was bright and colourful, here I’ve picked it out a bit more to try and give it some even more impact

Zina's tribute to her friend Laura Cherry who is recorvering from Morgellons Disease was one of the most impactful pieces on the day

Zina’s tribute to her friend Laura Cherry who is recovering from Morgellons Disease was one of the most impactful pieces on the day

Steffi Bow came all the way from Dubai to create one of her iconic Bow's it was great to see her back in the UK

Steffi Bow came all the way from Dubai to create one of her iconic Bows it was great to see her back in the UK

Ayaan Bulale interviewed just outside the tunnel.  Just one of many such media appearances throughout the day

Ayaan Bulale interviewed just outside the tunnel. Just one of many such media appearances throughout the day

Weardoe piece was bright and impactful.  I liked how the light highlighted her work

Weardoe piece was bright and impactful. I liked how the light highlighted her work

Artista has developed a penchant for drawing big flying toasts in a variety of situations.  Her work is always a lot of fun

Artista has developed a penchant for drawing big flying toasts in a variety of situations. Her work is always a lot of fun

Many of the artists had sketched what they were going to do beforehand.  This is from Lupita

Many of the artists had sketched what they were going to do beforehand. This is from Sri

Anna Rewinka's lovely puppet on a string piece.  I thought would look cool to just try and highlight the strings

Polish artist Anna Rewinka’s lovely puppet on a string piece. I thought would look cool to just try and highlight the strings

Spanish artist Elno produced a really colouful piece and here I've gone and taken it all out

Spanish artist Elno produced a really colouful piece and here I’ve gone and taken it all out

I liked how this pink drainpipe looked between these two pieces of art so thought I'd pick it out

I liked how this pink drainpipe looked between these two pieces of art so thought I’d pick it out

All black and white except for a little bit of pink, the original version is a bit brighter to say the least

All black and white except for a little bit of pink, the original version is a bit brighter to say the least

Roo finishing off her name and making sure that there is no doubting who created this great piece

Roo finishing off her name and making sure that there is no doubting who created this great piece

Cbloxx from Leeds got a lot of attention for this piece of work.  I've had a little fun with the edit

Cbloxx from Leeds got a lot of attention for this piece of work. I’ve had a little fun with the edit

Aylo from Manchester with a cool tribute to Minnie Mouse

Aylo from Manchester with a cool tribute to Minnie Mouse

It was great to see my friend Lady Lash Dee come down and give mural painting a real go.  I love this cute little Robin and it will be great to see her work down in Leake Street more often

It was great to see my friend Lady Lash Dee come down and give mural painting a real go. I love this cute little Robin and it will be great to see her work down in Leake Street more often

Suzco painted a bit eyed cat and was lucky in that she had a really nice spot in the sun

Suzco painted a bit eyed cat and was lucky in that she had a really nice spot in the sun

Joyce Treasure centred this picture very nicely I thought

Joyce Treasure trying to reach a hard to get to spot on her section of wall.

Beth Robb normally known as a graphic designer and illustrator went big with these cool characters

Beth Robb normally known as a graphic designer and illustrator went big with these cool characters

Georgie Georgie created a group of women sitting around a big fire against a swirly colourful background.  I dedcided to try and pick out the fire because I thought it looked really cool

Georgie Georgie created a group of women sitting around a big fire against a swirly colourful background. I dedcided to try and pick out the fire because I thought it looked really cool

Hannah Adamaszek's work is always noticeable and always attracts attention.  This photographer will not have been the first nor the last of the day

Hannah Adamaszek’s work is always noticeable and always attracts attention. This photographer will not have been the first nor the last of the day

In addition to painting their murals the artists also found themselves drawing in black books for fans of their work

In addition to painting their murals the artists also found themselves drawing in black books for fans of their work. This is Stephanie Thieu drawing in mine

Amara Por Dios holding court next to her typically dynamic mural

Amara Por Dios holding court next to her typically dynamic mural

I love how this barrel of pink paint looks next to the Femme Fierce mural

I love how this barrel of pink paint looks next to the Femme Fierce mural