Graffiti Hotspots

Left: My own scribbles, Right: Brighton behind the Lanes
Having dragged my heels through half the galleries in London, I can safely say I have seen my fair share of art. Don't get me wrong, I love drawing and what's more I can appreciate other peoples work, but I have seen so much samey-samey, gawping, garish portraits and obscure pottery that I am moving on. The constrictions of Art A Level left me banging my head against a wall. One thing I love about street art is the uninhibited talent. Some of the most technical and fluid drawings I have seen have been smeared on the brickwork of a town house. But what's best about street art is that you have to 'discover' it - and I love an adventure.

A bad sense of direction and a distrust in my mobile data charges has left me exploring the city of Brighton in a non-traditional manner. I knew Brighton was a quirky kind of place but the street art was a surprise to me, and finding it by chance made it seem more special. I have had ample opportunity to go mad snapping away with my new camera, but instead I tend to just prop myself up, sip a take-out coffee and admire the craft.

If you are the sort of person not to leave things to chance then check out Alternative London Tours which my hip-and-trendy mother always raves about. If you want an informed view of the highlights from the artists themselves this is the one. I've had a mosey around Shoreditch and places before but I don't think I really made the most of it. East London is bursting with original culture and these tours are great for people new to the street art scene as you pay what you think the tour was worth. You get invaluable local knowledge and go off the beaten track. Other tours include traditional East London pubs and bike tours. Looking at the website I think I'll get myself signed up for a graffiti workshop ASAP.

This leaves us with Bristol, the home of Banksy. It's a shame I didn't have a good camera at the time I was staying there. The city is plastered with paint on every corner, to the extent that walking down a street one way is a completely different experience to walking back. A new route, a new perspective. Bristol will always be a sexy city for me, simply because of its outright disregard for the law, its embrace of vibrant colour and the insane but brilliant people that live within it.

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don't come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they're having a piss.” (Banksy)


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