American artist Nether410’s latest visit to London has resulted in a whole host of new walls. Adding to a flurry of spots painted in November 2018. They are mainly centered around the Shoreditch and Brick Lane area. We also spotted one in Camden and it’s quite possible there will be others dotted around too. In total we’ve had a quick look round and spotted 11 murals painted by the prolific artist.
Nether describes his outdoor work as often designed through insight or in collaboration with local people and focused on the local area. That certainly seems to be what we’ve seen with his series of works on the streets of London. Portraits of local characters Charlie Burns and Peter Chappell are joined with homages towards local wildlife and coded references to the local areas.
Two murals of note on Bacon Street feature portraits of Charlie Burns and his daughter Carol. Charlie, who died in 2012, was known as the ‘King of Bacon Street‘. Heavily involved in the fabric of the area. He lived in and around Bacon Street and Brick Lane all his life. Even now the family business is still run out of the unit on Bacon Street where the murals have been painted. Heavily involved in boxing, Charlie’s mural features a pair of boxing gloves hanging down. He had spent 20 years as the president of the famous Repton Boys Boxing Club and was well known in the East End boxing community.
Around the corner on Sclater Street, another mural of a local resident. A remarkable portrait of Peter Chappell. This was the man whose graffiti slogans proclaiming the innocence of George Davis becoming famous in their own right. A kind of viral graffiti campaign which kept the name of Davis alive whilst he spent 3 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Arrested for a wages robbery in 1974. Chappell knew him to be innocent having been with Davis at the time it was supposed to have happened. Initially sent down for 20 years, Davis was eventually released early due to concerns over the evidence. Finally receiving a pardon in 2010. Chappells campaign had been a thorn in the authorities side. Not just the ‘G Davis is Innocent’ slogans but the direct action through vandalism too. Nether’s mural shows Chappell on a shutter with the words ‘George Davis is Innocent ok’ scrawled above.
Birds in the East End
Other murals which have appeared show birds. Two murals of Sparrows. One painted onto a shutter on Heneage Street and the other hidden in a doorway off Commercial Street. Just around the corner from the latter is a Golden Eagle, watching across to the busy Spitalfields Market. Both species do have connections to the local area. Sparrows are of course one of Britain’s most loved birds and Golden Eagles would have once thrived across the British Isles.
Two murals showing horses and seemingly inspired by Greek myth have appeared in Camden and in Shoreditch. According to Nether’s instagram, the Camden piece is a homage to the Stables Market. It’s also a nod to the spirit of Camden itself as the area is “tamed into a much gentler beast”. The raised horse’s foot in the mural signifying loss in battle. Back in Shoreditch and the artist has depicted Pegasus the winged horse. Rearing in a similar way to the Camden piece, could this too be a reflection of the taming of Shoreditch?
Finally a series of paper planes. Seemingly beloved of the artist, I spotted a few in the Nomadic Community Gardens. The planes are hidden away in out of the way spots. No doubt there will be more dotted around but this is all we could find for the time being. As for the meaning, not entirely sure on these. if we ever do find out we’ll update this post.
All murals contained within this post were taken on 14 April 2019. Nether 410 visited London fro this latest trip during March and April 2019