Thursday, 26 September 2013

Looking for the orchids in Shoreditch

Most of the Southbank undercroft graffiti is limited to tags.  There's some great colours, some great shapes, some very imaginative work.  Cast your mind back to Chambers Dictionary's definition of Art: practical skill guided by rules.  The tagging, for all of its randomness and free thinking, still abides to a set of rules.  But street art can be so much more.  A visit to Shoreditch, East London, which is a designated graffiti area, shows how much.
Graffiti Area, Banksy
Banksy is kind of synonymous with UK street art.  For provincial newspapers a Banksy is art, anything else is vandalism. What struck me when wandering round Shoreditch is how dated Banksy's work looks compared with what else is going on. 

 at Village Underground David and Goliath, Martin Ron, 2013

Some of the street art is small scale, some large scale.  Some accessible, some hidden away.  There is a difference in looking at a gardenful of flowers and coming across a single early purple orchid in a woodland.  I'd rather find the orchid.  Until I wrote that I didn't realise that Shoreditch is an anagram of The Orchids.  

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