By Maria Papagiannopoulou,
For many people, art has always been extremely important. People would never have seen the beauty of mind in real life if it had not been for the remarkable work of veteran artists. For many people, art is not only a means of speech, but also a way of life. When it comes to artwork, the United Kingdom has always been a cultural country using light colours and patterns. Gone are the days when governments would ban graffiti art. In today’s time, people are looking for creative energies to draw inspiration from. However, before we move on to discuss graffiti in the UK more elaborately, it is important to introduce this art and clarify what “graffiti” represents.
What is Graffiti?
Graffiti, to put it simply, is street art created with brushes and paints on various surfaces. Graffiti art can vary from simple written words to large-scale paintings that convey a lot of information. Graffiti has a long tradition that can be traced back to ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. Gone are the days when people can only use conventional paints to their full potential. Artists nowadays are enamored of marker pens and spray paints. The cool thing about graffiti is that it comes with a variety of forms.
How has graffiti evolved in the UK?
Despite the fact that graffiti is merely a form of speech, many people regard it as an anti-social eyesore that sends a toxic message to society. The remarkable situation to remember here is that graffiti is illegal in the UK, as anyone caught painting walls in public is liable to a fine of more than £5000 under the criminal damage act of 1971. This does not, however, prevent people from expressing themselves. Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, David Hockney, John Constable, and several other world-famous artists were all born in the United Kingdom.
Young artists do not seem to throw away their brushes, despite strict regulations. This is why the country hosts a number of graffiti events each year.
Graffiti art exploded in popularity in the 1980s, when young people began to add color to the streets. Undoubtedly, several people spray offensive anti-social messages on the sidewalks, but that does not give to the majority the chance to dismiss graffiti art as violent and deplorable. Here is a full list of graffiti events that have occurred in the United Kingdom, with several more planned for the coming year:
- Brockley Street Art Festival
This is the festival’s third year, and it is expected to develop into a franchise in the coming decades. Brockley street art depicts a vibrant street art scene with spectacular compositions. The aim of this festival is to raise awareness of the cultural significance of street art as well as to instill colour into the worlds of several art lovers. The region where the festival is held immersed in artistic tradition and is close to Goldsmiths College, which is a cultural center in its own right. Every year, dozens of travelers attend this festival. They have a designated area where young artists can experiment with color and let their imaginations run wild with markers and pens.
- LeakStreetLive Graffiti Workshops
This event will begin on December 5th, and tickets have already been sold out. Graffiti projects are great places to learn if you want to be a part of the artistic community in the future. Leak Street Live is a festival where seasoned artists will teach young people about their artworks. The unique aspect of this project is that it accepts participants of all ages and walks of life. So, if you are looking to learn something new and interesting, do not miss their upcoming event.
- Boneca with Street Guest, Majdo
It is said that art imitates life. Boneca is a forthcoming event that will start operations on December 20th. The organizers’ choice of theme is the most interesting aspect of this gathering. The festival will be settled near the Graffiti Tunnel on Leak Street. So, if you want to have a lot of fun with colors, go ahead and purchase your tickets now.
- Urban Environment Solo Exhibition
The world’s current environment has changed due to technological advancements and globalization. This is how the case was portrayed. Despite the fact that this event has already occurred, there are photographs and recordings found on the website. With stunning wall art and a unique combination of mind-boggling colors, the Urban Environments Solo Exhibition, which took place on November 26th, shed light on influential issues of the modern world. This event emphasized the importance of incorporating art into daily life and correlated this to being happy in a beautiful way.
What is the future of graffiti in the UK?
Graffiti has a bright future in the United Kingdom, just as it does in other parts of the world. The magic of art is that it is uncontrollable. This is why so many renowned artists have been able to motivate people with their artistic work. Despite the fact that graffiti is illegal, artists keep finding ways to inject color into the UK’s streets on a daily basis. Street art is not only a form of speech, but it also helps to combine multicultural diversity in various locations. Many artists would have never emerged outside their bubble if it had not been for this art. Graffiti, on the other hand, is no longer the same as it was many years ago. Artists have been able to escape outdated painting procedures thanks to the advent of modern methods. People nowadays use shimmers, stickers, spray paints, toothbrushes, and a variety of other materials in conjunction with a paint palette to tell a different story. No one will be able to put a stop to this beautiful style of art as long as there will be even a single artist in the UK.
- Breakin’ Convention. 2021. Festival Graffiti — Breakin’ Convention. [online] Available here.
- Cityofcolours.co.uk. 2021. The most famous graffiti in the UK – cityofcolours.co.uk. [online] Available here.
- Widewalls.ch. 2021. History of Street Art in the UK | Widewalls. [online] Available here.