September sees the first ever edition of the London Mural Festival take place – a month-long celebration of street art. Designed to make art easily accessible to the residents of the capital and provide a legal public gallery for street artists to use, the festival is set to bring together over 150 artists, painting around 50 large-scale murals across the city.
Over 500 local, national and international artists applied to take part in the inaugural edition of the festival. In an effort to be inclusive, the final 150 who were selected comprise 15 different nationalities, yet the majority are UK-based artists keen to showcase their work to their home audience.
The artworks will be dotted around the city, spanning Leyton to Holborn, Canary Wharf to Wembley. Each artist is invited to express their own style in a way that best suits the location they have been allocated. There are no themes therefore to follow, but artists are encouraged to imbue their walls with much-needed positivity.
‘It’s been a hard year for everyone and continues to be, but hopefully, we can bring a smile to people’s faces and brighten up the streets,’ said Lee Bofkin, the CEO and co-founder of Global Street Art, the street art platform which has helped fund the festival.
Heading the list of artists who are taking part is Camille Walala – a well-known name now on London’s art scene thanks to her bold, colourful installations which can be seen brightening up walls across London. Her most recent project, Walala Parade, sees her add her signature vibrancy to Leyton High Street, painting a row of shops to help make locals proud of their road again.
She will be joined by several big name artists including Dale Grimshaw, who paints bold figurative portraits with a humanitarian focus, like his murals of Papua New Guinea tribesmen in Shoreditch. Meanwhile, Pop Art-inspired D*Face, and purveyor of playful graphics, Woskerski, will be contributing work, as well as Peckham-based abstract artist, Katrina Adams, whose murals can be seen in her local Copeland Park and outside Blackfriars Station.
Other names to watch who are also making an appearance are German artist MadC (aka Claudia Wilde) who paints bold colourful abstracts; Mr. Cenz, who creates colourful female faces; Pref, who uses a multi-layered letting style in his graffiti art; and Seb Lester, the master of dynamic calligraphy.
“Culture and the arts are synonymous with London and it’s the number one reason that visitors come here,” explains Laura Citron, CEO of London and Partners, one of the festival’s sponsors. “The London Mural Festival is a fantastic innovative addition to our cultural landscape and really puts London in the spotlight as a dynamic and creative city.”
The aim of the festival is to inject feelings of positivity, unity and colour into London’s streets, and help foster a sense of pride amongst the people living locally. And after the challenges 2020 has posed, we could all do with a dose of that right now.
Find out more at londonmuralfestival.com