The first ever Southend City Jam took place during September 2022 bringing a host of street art to Southend. A mix of local, national and international artists took part with artwork added across the city centre.
Murals were added to a variety of locations. Some permanent and some transitory. Spaces ranged from the sides of buildings and hoardings to a pop up street art park in the middle of the High Street. According to the organisers “our vision for Southend City is to showcase the best that the urban art movement has to offer”.
Southend City Jam Street Art
Over 60 walls were transformed across Southend over the weekend. Several of these were permanent. Spaces near the Clarence Road and Alexandra Street car parks having a particularly good selection of new murals. The busiest location though was probably the High Street. There over 20 artists painted in amidst the shoppers. Those murals were created only for the weekend.
Southend Street Art Locations
Alexandra Street Car Park
The Alexandra Street car park was one of the main locations of the Southend City Jam. Big walls from Ster, Curtis Hylton, Gent, Amed and Dan Leo overlook the space. A number of other smaller pieces can also be seen on the surrounding walls from Kone, Vents, Inkfun, Amuk and Jimmy Jasik.
Clarence Road Car Park
Another main spot in the Southend City Jam was the Clarence Road car park. The area already boasting four previous murals all from 2021. Large pieces from Dan Kitchener, Scott Irving of Brave Arts, Karl Sims aka Ster and Nicola Cry were created as part of the 2021 Southend Arts Festival. For the Southend City Jam the area saw added big works from Aches, Asur and Brave. Additional pieces from Void One, Raid and Casem have been painted around the car park walls.
A little towards the northern end of the town, Voyder was painting on College Way. The artist has his roots in graffiti but has been evolving his style on the street in recent years taking inspiration from oil painting. His work as a result takes a lot from both blends the two mediums together. Voyder’s model for the piece shows fellow artist and one of the Southend City Jam organisers Ster.
Works from several artists on Elmer Approach just off the High Street and close to the painting pop up walls. From Valencia in Spain, Yeko’s wall is the main piece on the approach. His classical image shows a woman holding a braying horse covering a boarded up shop unit.
The High Street was a popular location during the Southend City Jam. Underneath the railway bridge saw murals painted from Spray Saint, Abraham and Woskerski. Overlooking them all meanwhile was a mural from Fat Cap Sprays on the top of a nearby building. Further up the street the pop up park was taking place where multiple artists were painting on temporary boards.
Down a little side street just off Queens Road is a large piece from Aroe. Called ‘Been There Done That’ the piece combines text based work with inspirations from his canvas work and his love of graffiti characters.
Towards the pier and three murals can be found. The first a bluetit eating an ice-cream is from Aspire. His work often features glitches as if someday the glitches will get too much and the life he depicts in his artwork will disappear. Nearby is a wall from Jim Vision. He describes himself as a post modern vandal and painter of large scale murals and graffiti. His work in Southend showing a bucking unicorn with kids playing on its back. Finally Spray Saint has painted on the side of the Twenty One cafe it shows a striking image of a woman alongside a leopard.
Just out from Southend Central train station and three artists have painted some of the old alcoves. Work from Dniper, Gnasher and Tom Blackford can be seen.
High Street Pop-Up
Centrepiece of the Southend City Jam was the High Street pop up. A series of three separate banks of boards where artists could paint in amongst the bustle of Southend’s busiest shopping street. Originally due to stay up for the weekend before being taken down, they ended up staying for the week afterwards as well.
A square of temporary hoardings on the Royal Square gave the opportunity for some large scale pieces that regular hoardings might not be able to accommodate. Painting here on a site which overlooks the pier were Poser, Ziner, Niser and Nicola Cry. These pieces have now been removed.
Boards running along the length of Adventure Island near the seafront can be found on the Western Esplanade. Graffiti writers took over the 400ft space and created a whole series of works spanning the length. The walls were only meant to be temporary for the duration of the festival and have now been removed. Artists where known have been mentioned.
Surrounding the Warrior Square a number of locations were chosen for graffiti artists. The square is also where you can find the skatepark in Southend. All painting places were on boards surrounding the square. Artists where known have been noted.
The Southend City Jam took place between 2-4 September 2022. It was visited on Sunday 4 September 2022 and all photos unless noted were taken then.