New project Colour in the City is a collaboration between Londonist and Global Street Art. It will see local street art festivals staged across London to help boost regeneration and kindle community spirit.
Following our recent call for nominations, seven areas were put forward. Now we need you to help us decide which neighbourhood gets the first festival*. Each nomination is summarised below with a photo to illustrate the area. Decide which one you most want to support then cast your vote in the form at the foot of this article. Positive messages for your favourite are welcome too — please add them in the comments.
St James Street, Walthamstow
Local resident Fabien nominates this bit of E17. He says:
I was involved in a project last Summer which delivered the Mural on the Marsh in Walthamstow as part of a community event to celebrate the wildlife of the marshes. Since then, we have been developing a community of local residents and artists who are also interested in bringing more street art to Walthamstow. I am also part of the St James Big Local which works with residents to improve our area through engagement initiatives, art and cultural events, as well as working with local businesses to encourage shopping locally.
It would be amazing if you would consider the St James Street area in Walthamstow E17 for a street art festival. We already have a theme: “International Walthamstow”. We want to celebrate the diversity of St James Street. which has over 80 languages spoken in the area. and to deliver street art on our shop shutters. We have potential artists lined up as well, and a small army of local volunteers with marigolds and brooms to help prep the shutters. We even have the local shops and businesses on board, who are able to offer up their shutters and sides of buildings. Lastly, we also have the support of our local councillor who is also a cabinet member in Waltham Forest, Cllr Clare Coghill. In the past she's championed local initiatives such as the E17 Art Trail.
Poplar was nominated by community group Poplar HARCA, which works with residents to make Poplar a better place:
Poplar would love a street art festival! It's an area that is changing fast. New homes, new facilities, new opportunities. Poplar’s strong community is expanding, holding onto its authentic voice, whilst embracing the new. Art is cemented at all levels of community and place, and into the fabric of Poplar’s present and future. A street art festival would celebrate the beautiful murals we have, from Banksy to local schools, whilst giving the community the sense of ownership of the regeneration and streets themselves.
“Art is an evolutionary act. The shape of art and its role in society is constantly changing. At no point is art static. There are no rules.”
― Raymond Salvatore Harmon
Brockley Road to Brockley Rise
The Brockley area was nominated by HOP resident Ian:
I think the Brockley/Crofton Park/Honor Oak Park/neighbourhoods of Lewisham in south east London would really benefit from some exceptional street art. The community is diverse, independent-minded, and supportive of the local arts scene. Some corners of these neighbourhoods are beginning to thrive due to some great community initiatives but some corners would certainly be improved by inspired mural work. It would certainly be appreciated here more than in some London areas!
Essentially, I'm proposing art on a strip that runs through three interconnected neighbourhoods — along Brockley Road, from the Brockley Overground, through Crofton Park, to the bottom of Honor Oak Park. Much of the area off this drag is residential and the art would really create a unifying aesthetic on this main road.
Local resident Gina nominates Streatham and says:
Streatham is undergoing significant change and this is precisely the reason art and creativity has returned to the street. A number of community groups are encouraging local and long-standing residents to make their voices heard through engaging with the arts. There is a young culture and a transient population too, which enriches the area. It is dynamic yet a lot of young born and bred Streatham folk have become frustrated with the lack of space to express themselves.
We (Non_Plan and Russell’s Footpath Project) have been trying to initiate art on the street as a free provision for local kids and artists. Re-imagining as part of Streatham Festival and the Lemon Shack opposite Streatham Common, we aim to animate the streets in Streatham with art by local people and for local people. It’s really about community spirit, laughter and creative freedom of which Streatham has a shed load!! The way we see it, the more the merrier and let us show you what we can do!
**The area of interest is opposite Streatham station leading down towards Streatham Common...urban disjunction (surfaces) which has the potential to be occupied in creative ways!
Stoke Newington/Clissold Park
Local resident Alex nominates Clissold Park and Stoke Newington. He says:
South London has hogged the glory so far with [street art] events in Dulwich and Sydenham so it’s time that the word is sprayed north of the border. Stoke Newington Church Street is a community full of artists that will provide a welcoming blank canvas. The area has good connections with the young and vibrant Dalston so there will be no shortage of punters wanting to visit the event and spread the word. The soon-to-be regenerated Kings Crescent Estate (pictured) has some of the biggest gable walls any artist could wish for (they look a bit forlorn and sad when viewed from the bus at the moment). Furthermore the estate could be London’s version of the Tour 13 in Paris (not to mention a place for the artists in residence to stay) if you’re ambitious enough.
The Leyton Art Collective nominate their patch:
Since spring this year we’ve been on a mission to artify life in Leyton. Our little corner of London is bursting with walls that are yearning to be transformed. We’ve held a number of open events since we started out, and it’s fair to say that the response from local people, the art community, social enterprises and businesses has been far greater than we expected. We’re already in the process of applying for Spacehive and Kickstarter funding and we’re in talks with Waltham Forest Council. A number of local and international artists are already on board. Leyton Orient FC has already given us a wall at their stadium and other businesses have followed suit. We believe the work we’ve done so far shows that Leyton is ready for a street art festival – we hope you agree!
Wood Street, Walthamstow
Nominated by Mark of Wood Street Walls. He says:
Over the last 18 months to two years, Wood Street has gone through a radical transformation in improving the local area, by connecting local artists to improve shop fronts, continuing the established E17 Art Trail, and promoting the Blackhorse Studio areas as a creative space for artists. But we seem to be failing to connect with the local street artists and the young community on a consistent basis, and failing to make use of the large open wall space to improve the area, especially in Wood Street.
Having a street art festival here can provide a focal point to bring the community together and build up awareness of the Wood Street Walls project, being the jumping off point of a long-lasting initiative that can benefit the local community.
Which one will you support? Cast your vote below now.
VOTING IS NOW CLOSED!
Voting closes on Friday 12 September, 5pm.
*Global Street Art has organised over 500 murals since 2012. Whichever area gets the first festival, GSA will work with community groups and the local authorities to ensure an authorised, safe and fun event, with support from Londonist.
Interested in sponsoring a street art festival? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org