London Street Art Tour
Every week or so CEA London takes us on a stellar tour of the city. This is not your typical tour to see Big Ben or the London Eye, but something a little more off the beaten path; something to get us acclimated with our new home and experience a different side of London. This past week, we had the pleasure of going on a Street Art Tour around the neighborhood of Shoreditch. This is a vibrantly artsy, recently trendy, and expensive neighborhood. Once filled with the prostitutes hunted by Jack the Ripper, this neighborhood now contains the home of star Kiera Knightly.
Often seen as a taboo art form, paint on walls has recently been picking up well deserved credit thanks to internationally acclaimed artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey. Sometimes commissioned and sometimes illegal, street art has proven to be a powerful medium to share a bigger message. Often, artists tie in political and/or philosophical statements to make their viewer not just admire, but think.
Street art is more than just some quick graffiti done with a spray can. Street art comes in the form of painting, stickers, sculptures, etc. I’ve even seen spray painted broccoli taped to the walls around London. Often, commissioned work can be very elaborate and large. Because most street artists start out tagging illegally, they work fast. It is not uncommon for an artists to complete en entire building sized mural in just a day.
Maybe I was caught up in the dreamy summer-like weather London was blessed with that day, or if the art was just.that.good., but I cannot recommend this experience enough. Although these CEA tours are optional, this one is a must go! After the tour, we all went to the famed Brick Lane of Shoreditch and ate some of the best Indian food I have ever had. All the restaurants on the road are competing for your business, so feel free to haggle a deal with the host or hostess. We got 20% off our bill and free drinks. Score!
Caitlyn B. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in London, England. She is currently a Junior studying Communications & Media at DePaul University.