I do enjoy going to Camden. Now, admittedly that in itself isn’t suprising it is a cool place, if a little busy and with a little bit of an edge at times. The one thing however that is really putting Camden on the map at the moment is it’s street art.
Already featuring a couple of times in this blog, the street art scene is just growing and growing thanks to an initiative to turn the area around Camden Lock market into a mini art gallery. The semi-permanent sheds which open up during the day to sell whatever they sell, are locked up at night and it is then when the artists come. The brainchild of ‘The Real Art of Street Art‘, over time the sheds have been painted one by one and the project has even extended into the railway arches nearby on Water Lane.
I like to come back every now and again to see the progress and it’s always a treat to see some of the new art on display. This time I’ve also arranged to meet the Polish artist Anna Rewinska, who on the streets at least, more commonly goes by the name of AR.
Her art has been popping up all around the place since the turn of the year, ever since she made her street art debut at the hugely successful Femme Fierce event in Waterloo’s Leake Street Tunnel. Since then her work has been popping up around London, most recently taking spots at the huge Meeting of Styles event in Shoreditch and painting the famous Lord Napier pub for the Hackney Wicked festival in Hackney Wick.
And, that’s not the half of it, her crazy cartoon characters seem to be capturing the imagination even as far away as Croatia where she has been invited to paint at two festivals during August. It’s quite some turnaround from the one time Leake Street rookie who actually started her artistic career as a fine artist painting still lifes.
“It’s really hard to describe my work, I’m not really sure that I’m even the right person to ask on that one” she laughs and I know what she means. Her piece for Meeting of Styles was called ‘Fine Dining’ and featured a buck toothed character in a bunny suit feeding a carrot from a fork in it’s left hand to a rabbit shaped glove puppet in it’s right. It is indeed quite random but certainly eye-catching and she is developing a very noticeable style which will also soon be seen at her first collaborative show in the Well Hung Gallery which launches on Thursday 11 September 2014 and lasts for a whole month.
The show called ‘The Rabbit and the Box’ also features Spanish artist Boxhead, who by happy co-incidence was the last artist I met up with in Camden and who at the time was painting one of the huge railway arches on Water Lane. The resultant creation featuring two cartoon type characters wearing boxes on their head fighting over a box whilst being surrounding by other boxes should give some insight into why they decided to work together. They are both wonderfully surreal.
AR moved to the UK six years ago, gaining a degree in interior architecture at Brighton University but London is now very much what she calls home. The scene in her home country of Poland though is thriving with a ready availability of huge walls thanks to the sheer volume of large grey apartment buildings just begging to be painted. “Etam Cru are number one” she says without hesitation when I ask who we should look out for over there and I’m glad she did because their art tends to be colourful, superbly imaginative and massive. What price one of those huge walls for an AR piece in the future I ask “definitely” she grins “I would love to do that”.
So what about the future “the dream thing” says AR “is to just go around the World and paint on every single continent.” I think I might just be able to see that happening. AR is nothing if not ambitious and judging by her progress in the street art world, the next few years could be quite exciting.
AR was interviewed in Camden Market on 31 July 2014. Her show, ‘The Rabbit and the Box’ with Boxhead will run at the Well Hung Gallery from 11 September 2014 until 11 October 2014.
AR Artist Gallery