Street art for decades has been seen as a pursuit of the underground charlatan, synonymous with the cartoon rebels and hoodlum gangs that covet the train tracks of subways the world over. One of the four corner stones of hip-hop, graffiti has long been linked with youth-culture and often assumed to be rooted in hooliganism. This in its self is a misconception. The creation of large murals requires skill and dedication and had it not been for the fact that previous laws criminalising graffiti deemed the art form vandalism, some graffiti would have received the adulation it reserved.
Indeed because in the later part of the 20th century many cities banned graffiti, assuming it was linked to the criminal world, seldom few appreciated the drawings and text for what it was- in many cases create artistic expression. With new tolerance zones for graffiti across Europe, encouraging painting and street-art, perceptions of graffiti is changing. The discipline is returning to its original intention, an art-form that tells the stories of the building and streets that its spray-paint adorns. In many cases large murals and concept prices have been commissioned by local councils, keen to add the vibrant colours of graffiti to their otherwise dreary streets.
Here in Walthamstow a local group called Wood Street Walls, is fast making Walthamstow a hub for graffiti. The group which started out by adding a bit of colour to otherwise drab and dull buildings, has been overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback they have received on account of the community murals.
Internationally renowned artist ‘Phlegm’ was the latest name to make his mark on the borough. Having only just started in September, the group have already left a lasting impression with their pieces.
WSW founder, Mark Clack, who lives in Wood Street, set up the group, to establish Walthamstow as a graffiti hub, able to compete with the likes of Paris or Miami.
Already, there are nine pieces of WSW street-art around Walthamstow and Clack believes this could be the start of big things.
Like the street artists who live and work here, we are passionate about Walthamstow. Contact us today for more information on how you can become part of this vibrant community.