The popular Whitecross Street Party returned for it’s 10th anniversary with a theme of ‘unity’. It also moved back to two days following it’s experimentation with a one day format for the past few years.
It’s a popular spot on the calendar. Famous for it’s quirky performance art, it’s promotion of local music and of course its street art. In London it’s become one of the only remaining organised events where you can actually see and interact with street artists as they paint live. A sign of the times perhaps. There would have been many more opportunities to do that sort of thing when the street party first started 10 years ago.
This time two different sets of artists painted over the two days. The work is strictly timed. Starting at around midday, the work and the party needs to stop at 6pm. A commitment to local by laws which dictate the amount of partying, and in this case painting, that can take place. Old favourites such as Guisi Tomasello, Skeleton Cardboard, Airborne Mark, and Vanessa Longchamp were joined by a host of newer artists painted at the event for the first time.
Rise of the Non-Conformists is the strapline. Historically this was a place where you would go if you didn’t conform to societal rules. Whitecross Street sits just beyond the old Roman wall boundary of London. Leading directly into the old Cripplegate, one of the old gates into the city. It has held a market for years, operating initially outside of the City of London’s control. It was this that kickstarted the areas reputation for non conformism and inspired the festival.
Particular art highlights this year centered around Garrett Street. There a giant metallic installation from Sam Peacock was joined by large scale works from established writers Voydor and SkyHigh. For Peacock, it was his first taste of a large scale outdoor installation. A permanent exhibit which marks his, albeit no doubt brief, entry onto the street art scene.
As events go which have street art as a theme, this is certainly one of the more family friendly. Our friends at the Curious Duke Gallery were also once again instrumental in hosting the festival and setting the tone. Let’s hope that the festival carries on for many for years yet.
The Whitecross Street Party took place on 13 and 14 July 2019. Inspiring City visited on both days. You can read more about previous festivals here.