On the sides of houses, tucked away in a courtyard, or a miniature painting stuck to a pavement. Impressive artworks adorn our neighbourhood – and free to visit at any time of day or night.
There’s a unique project exhibited around South East London.
Some are obvious and huge, much loved and appreciated for their fine art and obviously been carefully executed on a large scale. This is not random graffiti sprung up overnight by secretive unidentified spray painters though. This requires planning – plus ladders and cherry pickers.
This was born from an idea in 2011 when Ingrid Beazley, from Dulwich Picture Gallery met street artist Stik and invited him to visit the permanent collection of Baroque Old Masters at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Known for his simple figurative style, he sketched some of the full length portraits (Gainsborough, Franceschini, Murillo) reinterpreting them as classic Stik characters and said
“if you find me some walls, I’ll paint them”.
These subsequent 6 murals in 2012 went down very well with the local community. Ingrid had asked neighbours (Court Lane) and approached local wall owners she spotted suggesting an interesting “canvas” (Blackwater Court, side of Property In Estate agents, a garage door on Beauval Rd).
Even local school children from The Hamlet school assisted Stik with The Bowling Green hut mural.
The following year Ingrid teamed up with Shoreditch Street art expert Griff, from The Howard Griffin Gallery. He then sent many internationally reknown artists Ingrid’s way as they passed through London.
Between them they had managed to secure many local walls but also a whole property, 265 Lordship Lane, kindly loaned from the developers, Lightbox, for a few months before the ultimate demolishing for their housing development. This was an amazing temporary project – featuring an international group of artists painting every crevice – the interior and exterior whilst living in the premises. Culminating in just one buzzy launch weekend only, for Dulwich Festival 2013 and the “Baroque the Streets” murals painted on various properties in the area. l
The unique brief for the artists taking part was to be inspired by the collection at Dulwich Picture Gallery and produce artwork in their own style based on these old paintings. We also have artworks venturing into Nunhead, Peckham, Herne Hill, Forest Hill and Gypsy Hill.
There have been temporary hoardings (Crown & Greyhound pub, DPG outdoor Pavilion By RUN and Phlegm 2017), the Audi Garage back wall (now demolished), some worn away and painted over by the council (Pablo Delgado’s paper montages, and RUN’s St Rita), and the 265 Lordship Lane house, that have all been and gone. Even a Stik painted board was prized off the wall and stolen from Blackwater Street and offered for sale on Gumtree for £17,000.
There is however, left behind, one small reminder outside the newly built apartments from Ben Wilson, aka Chewing Gum Man.
For many years Ingrid was at the Gallery, as Educator (inspiring students of all ages), Chair of the Friends Committee (putting on engaging, interesting events for the wider community), winning international awards for her forward thinking Digital initiatives (DulwichOnview) and generally catapulting the oldest public gallery in England (est 1817) into the 21C.
Ingrid sadly passed away April 2017, passing the baton to me to continue her Street Art walks for Dulwich Festival (May) and throughout the year on request.
I’ve been involved in many of her activities over the years. Her aim was always to bring people “in” to the gallery. Knowing the permanent art collection itself wasn’t going to change, and doesn’t appeal to everyone, maybe this would be impossible!
I reminded her that by creating this Outdoor Gallery that she did in fact bring new people “into” the gallery – by bringing it bang up to date and recreating it for a new audience – but outside!
Street Art/Fine Art (Heni Publishing) by Ingrid Beazley
Look the artists up & follow their work
We are hugely grateful to the artists and the wall owners contributing to this project. Thank you!
photos & words: Amanda Greatorex
past articles on Dulwichonview, an online arts magazine set up by Ingrid and friends:
A map of the murals is here http://goo.gl/maps/xw4Kx