The Whitecross Street Party returned for 2022 with a weekend of new murals, music and performance art. It’s an event which has become a key part of the artistic calendar in this part of London.
Now in it’s 12th year, we at Inspiring City have been covering the Whitecross Street Party (WXSP) for most of that time. Usually taking place during the summer months it has a carnival atmosphere. Unexpectedly it’s also taken on the mantle of being the largest street art festival in London. This despite the fact that street art is just one of a number of different elements which make the festival so special
Non Conformist Past
One of the cities oldest streets Whitecross Street has long been associated with its non-conformist past. The nearby Bunhill Burial Ground is where a number of prominent free thinkers and non-conformists such as Willian Blake are laid to rest. It is this spirit which the festival hopes to ignite. According to the organisers they hope it will bring a “socially-conscious, rebellious and for-the-people vibe”.
Reclaiming Public Space
This year the festival brought in artists from the leading female led art group, the WOM Collective. The poster was also designed by the groups co-founder Lours inspired by the nonconforming Jamaican community activist Olive Morris. Her short life had some amazing achievements in fighting for community spaces and human rights. It also inspired this year’s event theme ‘Reclaiming Public Space’.
Morris claimed that housing was a human right, advocating squatting if nothing else were affordable. Expanding more on the idea of celebrating Morris, the organisers said that the theme means “celebrating our rights to public place and space. To gather, speak, express – and to peacefully protest”. The need for connection to other human and non-human beings through the power of creative action is also a key driver for the festival.
A number of street artists took part over the weekend. A combination of artists painting on boards in the street with more permanent works on the walls. A world record attempt from Perspicere also saw him create the worlds biggest piece of string art. Additional large scale murals were also added from Voyder, Sophie Mess and a collaboration between Ben Eine and Lucie Flynn.
The Whitecross Street Party 2022 took place on the weekend of 9 and 10 July 2022. It was the 12th year that the event has taken place