The walls of a concrete play area got a facelift at the Graham Street Park in Islington. In total 13 street and graffiti artists got together to create a number of artworks in the area. The space is a walled hard surfaced five a side pitch close to the canal. It’s previously bland walls have received quite the makeover.
Working with Outside the Zone, artists were asked to create pieces across the walls of the area. Featuring a mix of artists from different backgrounds and experiences, the work features a number of styles as a result. From text based work to graffiti and from character work to abstract. The result is a transformation of the space.
Graham Street Park Video
Graham Street Park Street Art
Charley Peters @charleypeters & Komply @komply.komply
London-based artists Charley Peters and Komply combined to create their piece at the Graham Street Park. Both artists are known for their use of shape and colour. Together, their piece ‘knock out’ takes imagery from pop culture and graffiti to create a futuristic urban landscape.
DD Regalo – @ddregalo
Known for his visual poetry, DD Regalo combines words with his art and tries to evoke feeling within the work he creates. Talking about his mural in the Graham Street Park he said “the piece speaks through sound…I’m writing about resilience and believing in yourself…living your truth and giving yourself to it, completely”.
Enigma – @enlgm
Japanese artist Enigma has become a regular sight on the streets of London over the past year. Wanting to explore his practice as an artist on the streets, the East End in particular has become a more welcoming canvas than his home in Japan. Often combining objects together, he wants viewers to be curious. To wonder why a fish should be combined with a trombone or a clock with a statue. They are combinations that don’t necessarily makes sense which then prompt people to wonder why.
Fkult – @esau_teric
Using traditional graffiti techniques, Fkult experiments with shape and form to fill a space. His work in the Graham Street Park appearing as if two robotic fingers are reaching out to join one another. “I was inspired by the rhythm and colour of the space” Fkult said about the piece. “I sought to intensify the red and contrast it with cooler colours. Like the turquoises and greens. More broadly, it was about two entities, similar but not the same, meeting. At that space”.
Kwerk – @kwerksoundpower
Kwerk’s mural used a black and white chequered background to represent themes of multi cultural connection and unity. The shape of the wall also reminded him of sound systems and speaker stacks. The kind that were reminiscent of carnivals or squat parties. Places which in themselves create an energy and space for people to get together. Speaking about the piece, Kwerk said “as a musician, sound is vital to me. The spray painted silver sound waves which connect the hearts & vibes icons in the piece give a nod to how sound & music bring us together. Just as we hope the new work at Graham Street Park will welcome the community into the space”.
Maikel Walkman – @maikelwalkman
Food was the inspiration behind Maikel Walkmans’s character art in the Graham Street Park. Both being based on typical delicacies from his home area in Spain. The first is a “coca de mestall”. According to Walkman it’s a circular based bake. One which is made from cornmeal, flour and mixed with olive oil, yeast and salt. The second character is based on the “Sarvatxo de Pascua” which means ‘Easter Lizard’. The Sarvatxo is also known as the ‘Mona de Pascua’ and means ‘provision of the mouth’.
Nick Tez – @nick_tez
Tez is an artist known for his geometric patterning. Using chalk, tape, spirit levels and spray paint on the walls these patterns will begin to emerge. For the work in the Graham Street Park the piece uses hexagon shapes that make up the structure of a classic football. A few pentagons are included to create the sphere and the use of red references a recent World Cup ball. The court on which the mural has been painted is of course, also used as a football pitch.
Squarms – @_squarms
Squarms wanted to create something to encourage and inspire the younger generation. Saying that it was something “I would have liked to see when I was younger”. Speaking about the spaces Squarms said that with “such a variety of users I wanted to bring colourful imagery to the environment. I think it’s great how it’s being used and if we can help kids and local people engage with it then it’s even better”.
Martin Bundsen – @Martin Bundsen
Known for his graffiti, Martin Bundsen writes Techno although not always with the same combination of letters. Creating two pieces as part of the Graham Street Park project, his first includes this signature alongside two guardians in the form of M&M characters. For his second piece Bundsen created a superhero character to once again watch over the playground
Wrdsmth – @wrdsmith
“With the two pieces I painted at Graham Street Park, I aimed to inspire the kids who will be playing there with WRDs that support and motivate. I hope ‘dream bigge(r)’ (which hugs a corner wall) and ‘doubt is just success testing your spirit’ (which they see upon entering the ball court) provide wide-eyed encouragement for a wide awake generation. Both my pieces are modelled after ghost ads, which are seen on buildings all over London and, to me, illustrate perseverance and indelible messages”.
Xander Coy – @zandism
Inspired by the words of fellow artist Wrdsmith. Xander Coy’s portrait of a woman in thought had been adapted to reflect on the words ‘Dream Bigger’. Not actually painting on the same day as the others it was not the usual way of creating a collaboration. Though it was one which worked nonetheless as the woman in the painting reacts to the words on the wall.
Yorgos – @u.said.it
Yorgos work focuses on human complexity. Something that he describes as being inspired by his multi-cultural upbringing, dark materialism, gender inequalities and fear and uncertainty of a world in crisis. Speaking about the work, Yorgos said, “rather than focusing on cognitive justifications and expressions, I follow human gestures. Taking physical interactions as signs for meanings, emotions and relations. The moral and emotional qualities of human beings are embodied and emerge through the movement of the body and its interaction with space. The bodies are naked, which enhances its distance from socially constructed views of class, distinction, beauty and sexuality”.
The Graham Street Paint Jam took place at the Graham Street Park over the first weekends of April 20202 and was organised by Outside the Zone.
Outside the Zone (OTZ)
Outside the Zone is committed to producing a vibrant and sustainable creative eco system, through a diverse curatorial programme. OTZ looks to push the boundaries with their curatorial program and realise ambitious projects that have a powerful social impact through public art, gallery exhibitions, collabs, performances and digital works.
OTZ public art platform acts as an informal artist residency operating across multiple sites in London. These large scale site-specific artworks integrate and respond to the surroundings. Artists incorporate the original architecture of the project spaces to communicate ideas. Re-purposing public spaces whilst merging art forms through an artistic and curatorial exploration.
OTZ public art projects spaces are located under the train tracks in the heart of Shoreditch, London. Open 24hrs.
The artworks will live on the wall throughout 2022 and add to the local’s visual diet and all that visit the location.
Location – Graham Street Park, London, N1 – https://www.instagram.com/grahamstreetpark/
An OTZ intervention – www.ousidethezone.com