Saturday, 19 May 2012

Perspex and graffiti in North London

This image was posted online by UK Street Art  on 14th May.
Earlier in the week some friends and I went to check a piece of un-commisioned street art near Turnpike Lane, in London. According to UK Street Art this is a piece by Banksy.

As you can see in the image, the piece makes a very strong commentary on child labour and the 'jubilee' fever.

Uncommisioned street art near Turnpike Lane, London
(Image by R. Peters)

Our trip became much more interesting than we expected though. When we got there we were quite surprised to see that someone decided to 'protect' the work with a layer of acrylic.

Interestingly, the business card  of the glazing company was also visible! 


  1. That’s an interesting piece of graffiti. I noticed though, in the second picture, that someone has removed the ‘unprotected’ flags. Why would someone remove the flags, but leave the image?

    I furthermore tried googling the name ‘Banksy’ to see whether the artist has a website on which he might have posted a reaction to the protection of his work. Unfortunately, even though I found this on his website, the image he posted was taken before the panel had been fitted to the wall. So perhaps he doesn’t know it yet? I’m still curious as to what his reaction would be…

    While googling I also found this very interesting article on the Daily Mail! What especially intrigued me was the reaction of one of the locals named James Longshaw. He said: “It’s a piece of art, so of course I enjoy it. It will probably put house prices up in the area – that’s what has happened in areas where he has been before”.

    It has never occurred to me that uncommissioned (and I assume therefore also illegal) street art could have a positive effect on the value of the houses in the surrounding area!

  2. Yes,most of the flags were removed but it is impossible to know when it was done or who did it! I suppose the paint layer was perceived as more important than the flags.
    I don't know Banksy's reaction either, but this has happened to various of his works - as far as I know he thinks graffiti should remain unprotected otherwise it becomes static.
    I am as surprised as you are in relation to a rise in house prices! I do think this kind of intervention can have beneficial effects but not to that extent!

    1. I find it interesting that apparently Banksy doesn’t support the protection (conservation?) of his own work for the reason that this action would make the object “static”. I can understand that conservation attempts to make an object “static”, as in “prevent it from changing/decaying” and that Banksy might not want that because graffiti isn’t meant to be permanent, but that still leaves me with one question.

      Now I know very little about graffiti or the conservation of graffiti, so if what I write sounds stupid or if you’ve read it before, just ignore me. I’ve read somewhere that some of Banksy’s work has been exhibited in art galleries. I don’t know what happened to the works that were exhibited (perhaps they were destroyed later or taken outside and left to decay, or perhaps they’re still in the gallery), but graffiti and art galleries seem rather incompatible to me. What is more static than an object in a museum/gallery where, even if the object doesn’t undergo active conservation treatment, it will most likely last quite a lot longer than it would if it had been left outside in the open air?


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