Sunday, 14 June 2009

Backstreet Art - Shacklewell Lane

Like most of East London, Dalston is a study in contrasts. The roughest urban grit meets the most daring creative spirits. Overdressed fashion students share caf├ęs with Turkish construction workers. Clubs filled with Yardies exist side by side with 'alternative art spaces' - catering to retro hungry bisexual trendies. It's dizzying and dirty and fascinating.


Nothing sums this up to me like this art piece. Hidden down a side street in Shacklewell, an ancient advertising hoarding has been hi-jacked. The frame is almost as fascinating as its contents - dirty, forgotten and falling apart - not much of a temptation to any modern advertiser - it's transformed by the work of an anonymous artist.


Fittingly, the image seems to make a comment about urban blight. A Victorian lovely enjoys her verdant surroundings, while an industrial plant in the background pours waste into the river. 

An image that shows us the origins of industrial ugliness becomes something that now beautifies an ugly industrial area - how appropriate.


  1. do you know where i can get maps of shacklewell in the years 1860 onwards