What makes something formerly considered wanton vandalism into a semi-respectable artform? Graffiti has been around since man first scrawled on caves, but for most of its existence, It’s been associated with anarchy and chaos. Authorities have always attempted to erase it, either on aesthetic grounds, or out of fear that words might lead to dangerous deeds, revolution even. But in the 21st century the political slogans have migrated to the internet, where Twitter and You Tube have given them a global audience. Meanwhile the streets have been left to more creative and humorous work, most famously by the enigmatic Banksy. Originally working in Bristol, his work is now extremely valuable, and Bristol is a city enriched by its street art. It’s true to say however, that this artform still occupies a place on society’s fringes, away from the slick, sanitised city centres, and comfortable and leafy suburbia, whether in Bristol, Berlin or New York, it thrives in forgotten derelict corners. So it was quite a surprise to see this large Victorian villa on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich.
The house is due for demolition, and so, as part of the Dulwich Festival, the owner of the site, developer, Lightbox, invited an international group of artists to come and give the house a temporary makeover before its demise.
Stepping inside, the house has been victim of more than one break in since the art was installed. Thieves realising their value, stole doors and any other non-fixed items which had been painted on by the artists. The resulting damage only making it more interesting to photograph.
This room used to feature a collection of colourful ‘wiggly’ styro ‘mushrooms’ – that’s the best way I can describe them – which were sadly stolen. If you look up around London you’re likely to see one here or there on a rooftop.
And finally, while you couldn’t missed most of the work, some of it was so small, it could be easily missed.
Apologies for any work that is unattributed or wrongly attributed. For more graffiti in London information, visit LDN Graffiti.