Graffiti and street art of a city reflects people, place, culture, society, politics and much much more. Our PDD pop-up at LDF this year was in East London, nestled in the heart of creative and sometimes controversial artistic expression. As part of our exhibition we explored graffiti around the world, understanding how the social and cultural context of each place is reflected in, and sometimes influences, the surround street art.
Alpha bold > unapologetic use of bold colours and typography stretches across buildings creating a burst of colour and geometry. Palettes play between harmony and contrast creating different dimensions and new interpretations depending on viewing angle and proximity.
Technique > truly amazing for technique over scale, it’s hard to imagine where the start and end points are! The contouring effect created through layering and line continuation of spray paint creates a unique style, far removed from the usual perception of ‘quick and dirty graffiti‘. On closer look the detail reveals a true understanding and control of the medium.
Texture > the surface of this brick wall has been plastered and then chipped away to create a portrait with real depth. The image feels like it has become embedded into the very fabric of the building, giving a sense of harmony with its surroundings. Natural colours of the weathered plaster and brick showing through makes its presence feel forgiving rather than intrusive.
Added dimension > seemingly inaccessible space become the canvas for street art. Security bars unintentionally form part of the overall picture, creating an added dimension and contrast between the cold hard uniformity of the bars and the colourful, multi-dynamic expression of the artist.
Animal macabre > perhaps some of the more ‘intriguing and intricate’ (for me!) came in the form of these scaled up, slight macabre animals which haunted abandoned buildings and lurked down alley ways. Devoid of colour, these monotone creations have a real intensity which seemed to reflect a darker side of their surrounds, fascinating yet slightly eerie!
Mash-up > a melting pot of culture and expression is played out on the streets of East London. Cut, past (and re-paste) of collage style art work dominated one alley way in Shoreditch. Individual pieces become layered as space for expression is gained and then lost forming bizarre mash-ups of colour, texture, pattern and style – peeled, pasted and reworked.
The above brochure includes six posters from our pop-up space during London Design Festival. It shows some key insights of how context impacts artists and writers across five cities spanning from US, Latin America, Europe and Asia. We hope you enjoy them! Do get in touch if you have any questions or feedback, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Posted by Sarita
Principal – Design Insight
The last thing that inspired me: Chinese teacups from a small café in Camden Town, London - the most amazing collection of colours and textures.
My dream project: Something multi-sensorial.
My obsession: Stationery - retro inspired, Asian influenced, graphically intriguing, sensorially indulgent and the 'unique'!