Camden has long been growing in terms of it’s popularity for street art but the past few months have seen a real burst of activity.
Dotted around the Camden Lock area we’ve already reported on the ‘Street Art Sheds‘ initiative which has brought artists from all around the World together to paint the outside of the market sheds occupying the space between the canalside and the railway viaduct. We’ve also looked at some of the work that’s been happening around the Water Lane area in the arches of the viaduct itself and some of the broader activity around Camden in general.
Led by ‘The Real Art of Street Art‘ and well supported through organisations such as Urban Nerding and ‘Hidden Streets of London‘, this activity has gone some way to transforming the area into one of the most highly populated spots for street art in the city, exclipsing in many respects even the more established East End.
Walk around Camden now particularly the Water Lane, Leybourne Road, Hawley Road and Haven Street areas and the place is awash with art on houses and walls peeking out of doorways and hidden in industrial spaces. But be quick, it may not last long, the whole area is gearing up for redevelopment with the art acting as a last hurrah prior to the bulldozers moving in.
In fact as Inspiring City visited the area it was apparent that the move was already beginning to happen. The sheds near to the canalside, once occupied by a variety of traders, were being emptied with the clutter left behind from the clearouts rising in little piles around the area. Eventually this place will be unrecognisable with the footprint of space once occupied by the sheds being redeveloped into a brand new canalside quarter.
But it’s the area just outside the canalside which has seen the real boom in activity, that bordered by Hawley Road and leading into the junction with Leybourne Road. Whole houses having had their frontages painted, houses which may well have had grand histories in their own right, now just biding time prior to the destruction that awaits.
It’s a sign of the times as London continues to develop. Developments in the East End are seeing vast swathes of the Shoreditch area eaten up by corporate giants in an ever increasing quest for office and retail space. Whilst in Camden it looks like the ambition is to transform a district which admittedly has suffered from a lack of investment for a bit too long. The canalside by the lock always had a bit of a hard edge and sometimes it wasn’t a particularly nice place to be it will be interesting to see what the next stage of this vibrant areas future will look like.
The street art of Camden was visited on 18 January 2015. The lanes around Water Lane, Hawley Road, Leybourne Road and Torbay Street are due for demolition and redevelopment later this year.
Camden Street Art Gallery