WALTHAMSTOW STREET ART COLLECTIVE LAUNCH FIRST EVER ‘PAINT YOUR LONDON’ EVENT

A Street Art Festival Campaigning for more Affordable Artist Workspace in London

18 MARCH 2016, LONDON, UK
Summary
Coordinated street art festival is a part of Mayor of London’s “Find Your London” festival Street art collective Wood Street Walls have recruited world renowned street artists Maser, Inkie & Remi Rough to be part of month long project Artists will host coordinated painting across Walthamstow, Leytonstone, Leyton & Chingford to transform buildings into colourful works of art
  • Coordinated street art festival is a part of Mayor of London’s “Find Your London” festival
  • Street art collective Wood Street Walls have recruited world renowned street artists Maser, Inkie & Remi Rough to be part of month long project
  • Artists will host coordinated painting across Walthamstow, Leytonstone, Leyton & Chingford to transform buildings into colourful works of art

Walthamstow based street art collective Wood Street Walls will this week launch the first ever ‘Paint Your London’ event. Bringing together some of London and the world’s best street artists, the month long event will transform bland and dreary buildings across Waltham Forest into colourful works of art.

Part of the Mayor of London’s 11 day festival “Find Your London”, which celebrates London’s outdoor spaces, Paint Your London, with primary sponsors Fermax, Skyjack & Star Platforms launches on 18th March with Wood Street Walls hosting coordinated painting across Waltham Forest to create maximum impact.

A first of its kind event, during the weekend of 18th March 15 artists will be painting multiple locations, giving residents and visitors the chance to spend the weekend watching the buildings & unloved bland walls come to life through public art. Other street artists taking part in Paint your London over the coming month include world renowned Maser, who will be using the disused music venue The Standard on Blackhorse Road as his canvas, wallpapering the entire building on 11th April, as well as street art & graffiti legend and Walthamstow resident Shok-1 who will be painting at the Bell Pub on Forest Road, E17. See schedule here http://www.paintyourlondon.co.uk/locations-2/, with more walls and venues being added daily:

Paint Your London is part of Wood Street Walls mission to raise awareness of London’s need for more affordable artist workspace, something which is severely lacking with 35,000 graduates from Art and Design Colleges every year. According to the Mayor of London’s 2014 Artist Workspace Study London is set to lose 3,500 creative workspaces by 2020, that equates to a third of the city’s creative space. This is largely down to a need to address the city’s housing crisis, rising rents and redevelopment of areas such as Hackney Wick which were once seen as run down and unappealing areas.

Wood Street Walls - a collective of artists and professionals based in East London- formed in 2014 by Mark Clack & Tom Jackson in response to report findings that highlighted the poor provision in the borough of Waltham Forest.

To highlight the demand for creative space the group has painted more than 15 pieces of public art across Waltham Forest by a wide range of artists including the internationally acclaimed Conor Harrington and Phlegm, as well as prominent local artists such as Mark McClure, ATMA and STATIC who themselves are pushed to work in other boroughs due to the lack of affordable studio space.

Limited creative space is a global issue so Wood Street Walls looked to the methods applied in New York and Berlin to tackle it and successfully launched a crowdfunding campaign raising over £38,000 (securing an £18,000 grant from the Mayor of London High Street Fund) to adapt an unoccupied, Council owned building into a sustainable creative hub.

Renowned Street artist Maser, who will be a disused music venue, The Standard Pub pub from 11th - 17th April during Paint Your London, highlighting under utilised buildings which can be put back into use.

Despite this success and raising, movement to occupy the previously identified building as not yet been achieved despite conversations with LBWF over the last 18 months to occupy a disused public building.

Quotes
"“Perceptions of urban arts and urban creativity are changing. Commissioned, facilitated and self-initated works of many kinds no longer act as indicators of degeneration but are seen to provide huge benefits to the social fabric of an area. The team at Wood Street Walls are clearly demonstrating how different forms street art and urban creativity can help galvanise a community and develop distinct local identity, in addition to showing how design-led practices can help handle anti social challenges, reduce stigmas and promote healthy exchange of ideas through visual practice as well as well as verbal.”" Marcus Willcocks, Research Fellow at Design Against Crime Research Centre (DACRC) and the Socially Responsive Design and Innovation Hub at Central Saint Martins
"“Creative industries & informal culture such as street art are the lynch pin of what makes a city unique, creating an identity and soul and showing others what makes that city great - they contribute £36bn in London alone. Wood Street Walls plan offers a sustainable opportunity to offer our creative minds places to work whilst also creating a direct link to the artistic and resident community which in turn will inspire the next generation of artists.”" Adam Cooper, Senior Cultural Strategy Officer, Creative Industries at Greater London Authority
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About Wood Street Walls

Wood Street Walls has three main goals as an organisation:

1. To bring public art to our area of East London for residents and visitors to enjoy, to encourage greater footfall and custom to local business. We have looked to other successful initiatives over the pond such as Wynwood Walll

2. To provide free periodic workshops for the charities, school children and beyond - to build a connection between the artistic and local community and help develop grow new talent for the next generation of artists.

3. Our final and biggest goal of our project is the establishing of a new creative hub for the area: Wood Street Studios, by repurposing a disused and derelict building in the area. According to a study commissioned by the Mayor of London, in 5 years over 30% of the current 14,000 artists in London will no longer have a place to call their own due to rising rents and land being developed by residential housing.

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