Giant murals from Axel Void, Pref and Gary Stranger add to the street art of Hackney Road in London

On the corner of Hackney and Colombia road, a new mural can be seen.  A collaboration between two street calligraphers well know on the streets of London, Gary Stranger and Pref.  It says ‘Big Smoke‘, the Big letters quite literally coming from Stranger and the wispy smoke from Pref.

A little bit further down and American artist Axel Void has painted another of his giant atmospheric murals on the side of a building.  The painting is part of a series of two murals he’s painted in London prior to his first solo show due to be launched at the Unit 5 Gallery in London in early 2017.  We last saw his work in Manchester where he painted as part of the Cities of Hope project.

gary stranger pref hackney road
Big Smoke a collaboration with Gary Stranger and Pref on Hackney Road

The mural on Hackney Road is called ‘Comfort of the Modern Slave’ it depicts the face of a squinting man whose face has been cut in half.  His other mural in the city can be found on Linford Road in Walthamstow.  Part of the Wood Street Walls series of murals in the area, we’ll be looking at that piece in a later post.

Elsewhere on Hackney Road there is plenty to see.  Running from Bethnal Green to Shoreditch it won’t take long to walk its length, maybe half an hour.  Check out the areas around Clare Street (which we visited in our guided walk of the area), Ravenscroft Street and the hoardings around Cremer Street.

alex void hackney road
Axel Void ‘Comfort of the Modern Slave’ on Hackney Road

Those latter hoardings are a regularly changing spot.  Many of the art around the area is arranged by street art agency ‘Art Under the Hood‘.  The corner of Hackney Road and Cremer Street conceals some scrub ground but it’s been concealing it with ever changing street art for the past several years now.

The area has changed a bit since we first covered the street art of Hackney Road back in June 2013.  There are lot more cafes and finding a latte will not be a challenge. Undoubtedly this is an area in the midst of gentrification and as the link between two of the most up and coming areas in the city I don’t suppose that that should be suprising.

zabou sr.x otto schade hackney road
Sr.X, Zabou and Otto Schade on Hackney Road


Visiting 3 years later in September 2016 a lot of the pieces from that original visit have gone with the exception perhaps of a couple of fading urban animals from Belgian artist ROA.  Look out now for works from Zabou, Stik, Ben Eine, the Broken Fingaz, Adnate, Irony and Paul Don Smith.  Be warned though, Hackney Road changes quite a lot so some of the art featuring in this post might not be there but others will.

Hackney Road was visited on Saturday 10 September 2016 and all photographs were taken then unless otherwise stated.

Hackney Road Gallery

gary stranger pref hackney road
Big Smoke on the corner of Colombia Road
Impressive piece from Axel Void
stik hackney road
Stik man watching out over passers by
hackney road zabou
Cheeky Zabou piece by a local shop
zabou hackney road
War Paint, another great Zabou piece
lolie darko hackney road
Amy Winehouse portrait by Paul Don Smith
Work from Lost Monkey
lost monkey hackney road
Meat is Murder from Lolie Darko
Abstract cat from Low Bros on the corner of Ravenscroft Street
ben eine hackney road
Cheese London by Ben Eine on Ravenscroft Street


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