Street art, what do I know about it? It’s nothing but the works of people who are bored and have no other outlet of their boredom but to make confusing, indecipherable, random letters and drawings on empty walls. The result of which is the whole area being downgraded as a place one should dare not go.
So I ask again. What do I know about street art? After taking this tour, apparently I know nothing about it. Having an opinion as I stated above about street art without really knowing what it is makes me a judgmental idiot. That’s probably the most important lesson I’ve learned after taking this tour, I was quick to judge something when there is so much more into it than what my eyes can see.
I took the Shoreditch Street Art Tour because of Katy of Untold Morsels who, being a Melbournian, is into streetart. When she told me about the tour, I hesitated and thought that it’s probably just going to be a waste of my time and money. However, since it meant that I get to explore this city which I’m just getting know – I agreed without any intention of liking nor enjoying it.
We were met by our guide at 10am in Old Street Underground Station. We were 6 people in total joining the tour, a small group which is what I like. I was surprised that our group consisted of people from mixed generations, I thought only the millennials would enjoy this kind of tour. (As I said, I know nothing about street art.)
The first street art that was showed to us was nothing like what I expected a street art should be. It’s a green yarn tied on a fence to form letters which only our tour guide can understand easily. “It’s called yarn bomb.” our tour guide said, which apparently is just one of the many mediums street artists use these days. Call it a cliche but I seriously was hooked from that first piece that he showed us.
I found it interesting right from the start. I thought that all I will ever see from this tour would be graffiti that I won’t be able to read or huge cartoon-like paintings on the wall. I was not expecting to see street arts in the form of tiles, mushrooms made from polyurethane and specially paintings on a gum. Yes, a chewing gum.
Everytime our tour guide would stop, all of us would instantly look for some sort of art around us and just when we thought that we found what he’s going to show us, he would turn the other way and show us something else. It was really quite interesting as you never really know what you will see next which I think is the very essence of street art.
Street artists are not doing what they’re doing to change the meaning of what art is like. They’re not rebels as what I thought they were. They simply are challenging art itself through radical forms and putting it in places which aren’t deemed fit to be a space for art. The pieces they create are most of the time socially relevant which is what they aspire to communicate.
The social activism is quite strong in the street art culture and they deliver their message through subtle forms of art. Most of the time, I’d look at a piece thinking that it’s just something random however when I try to really look into it, I’d see some sort of political or social expression through it.
The Shoreditch Street Art tour was really an eye opener for me. After this tour, I won’t be looking at street art in the same way again. I guess I was reformed by it and I can now see the importance of this underground culture now more than ever.
There are so many other street art tours that you can take here in London. Another example is this tour which starts from Liverpool St and ends in Rivington Street.
This is NOT a sponsored post.
Shoreditch Street Art Tour
by Street Art London Tours
Cost: GBP12 per person on weekdays and GBP15 per person on weekends
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Thanks for sharing. I think this is a great tour that not many people would realise they could do, me included. It’s an alternative to all the traditional tourist attractions in the city.
Yes, I was quite surprised that there were actually a lot of street art tours here in London. Never really thought that it could be a part of a tour. :p
There are so many powerful messages in these street art. Especially the one where a soldier is firing a gun but it’s really a water for the child. Or how creepy is the one with the monster’s hands coming from the vent! I haven’t formally gone on a street art tour, but something I would consider doing in London!
It definitely is interesting, gives you a different light of London. 🙂
Always love street art. They have a soul of their own and bring out the colour and culture of a place in vivid perspective. These are lovely examples of the creativity and imagination of unknown people. It is heartening to note that tours are being organized with Street Art in mind.
I was never a fan of it, until I took this tour. I think it’s important that people do try to see something they don’t like from a different perspective. I think after this tour, I’d be more inclined to do the others street art tours here. 🙂
There are some beautiful pieces of art on display here. I always find that street art speaks deeply to the soul of the city. Except the fingers in the grate. Those are just freaky 🙂
Hahaha! Yes, that freaked me out too.
I probably would have had the same impression but some of that stuff is so cool. How much does the tour cost?
I was quite impressed really. The tour was GBP12 per person.
Kudos for signing up for something so outside what you thought you’d like. I think that’s why I enjoy CouchSurfing so much — I try new things out of politeness and end of discovering new obsessions.
I’m always up for anything outside my comfort zone which I think is important specially while traveling. 🙂
I love street art and you have found some amazing examples. I will be sure to check this out if I get back to London. I found the art on the gum a little strange though!
Yeah, that was a really cool and strange piece. :p
wow vandals. 🙂
I actually saw this tour the other day when I looking for things to do in London! I think I’m definitely gonna have to book onto it now. There’s one in Manchesters Northern Quarter too which I’m dying to try out!
Though I do not always pay attention I love street art. As always I prefer the “beautiful” paintings rather than the “artists” side (which I most often never understand). The one with the chicken legs is scary though and would freak me out 🙂
As a Melbournian, I am allllll about the street art, and these photos look amazing. I’ve never been on a tour, but they sound like a fascinating way to see more pieces of art, and to get a better understanding about what the artist might be trying to say. I might just have to look into doing a tour myself one day!
Glad to see that you’re settling into London! These sorts of tours are such a great way to experience a new place and London is filled with amazing street art – and not just in the usual places you’d suspect, though Shoreditch is definitely a perfect spot for this tour. There’s a a great on in Camden as well!
Wow…this is a great collection of wall art. The most fun part street art is that you just stumble upon it unexpectedly 🙂
I love that the tour blew you away! Sometimes we think something is not for us or we have little expectations and then it turns out to be a great time. I really enjoyed your pictures which shows some of the art, but not everything! This tour is on my list if I make it to London
I have never really taken much notice of Street Art in London and I did not know that they do tours on it. Glad you have pointed it out, as your pictures make me want to go along. m
I really liked this. I’m so happy that proper street art tours are being organized. It brings a new dimension to tourism and gets people away from the more international (read: homogenous) sections of cities. Thanks for this!