on the Street
London's street art is world famous. Join me to see the latest works in the city's most vibrant districts.
Edgy Shoreditch is in the heart of London's East and is as famous for its street art as it is for its resident hipsters. On the other side of the river are the Leake Street tunnels. Here young spray artists pursue their calling with an almost religious devotion. Like many sub-cultures, street artists also have their own special language - an ABC of street art.
These formerly impoverished districts are now desirable places to live and also hot beds of creativity. It's here you'll find great street art alongside cutting-edge fashion and design, bustling markets and mouth-watering food.
London's local authorities don't quite know what to do about street art. Should they prosecute those committing 'graffiti' with fines and banning orders? Or should they protect the works of established artists like Banksy and others behind sheets of protective perspex?
Our Victorian industrial heritage and street art frequently go together. My tours often feature railway viaducts or industrial sites. It's here we'll find the works of Banksy; Ben Eine; Jimmy C; Fanakapan; Stik, Zabou or JXC.
On the other side of the river are the Leake Street Tunnels. Running under Waterloo Station, this is where street art, far from being a forbidden actively, is positively encouraged. A visit here usually involves seeing artists at work with their stencils and their sprays. We can also nip into the neraby Tate Modern and explore the protest work of established creatives like Patrick Brill, better known as the 'slogan artist' Bob and Roberta Smith.
Every year Leake Street hosts its very own 'Cans Festival'. This both showcases the work of upcoming artists and puts this gritty but fascinating area more conspicuously on the map.