Have you ever seen a piece of street art so good that you wish it could stay crisp and clean just a little longer, before eventually succumbing to tags, or just painted over? Or maybe you’ve seen something so truly awful that you wished you could erase it from the wall, and your memory, forever?
Well, in one part of London, that’s exactly what you can do. Step forward, Market Road Gallery!
This collaborative project between Central Saint Martins (part of University of the Arts London, counting street artist Vhils among its alumni) and ethical storage company, Attic Self Storage, brings the power to the people when it comes to what stays and what goes on the 65 metre long canvas.
Art lovers can use the specially designed web-app (and website) to give praise, and extended life, to a great wall – or consign it to the “buff”.
Seasoned pros or emerging urban artists can reserve their spot on the wall via the app and website, and can make use of free paint on a first come first served basis. After that, the wall is theirs to show their creative flair.
Artists who have already booked space include London-based Spanish street and visual artist, Boxhead, Brazilian graphic designer Caio Beltrão, Matthew Wang and fine artist Steve Russell. Students and graduates of Central Saint Martins are also due to get in on the act.
“This innovative scheme helps us explore the changing roles of urban creativity” says project designer and Research Fellow at UAL, Marcus Willcocks.
“It is just as much about what people want more of from the local environment, as it is about discouraging opportunities for misbehaviour”.
– Marcus Willcocks
I really like this idea. Connecting street and urban art in the digital realm has been a tricky process.
Its traditional roots in graffiti and subversion don’t always sit easily alongside the new era of self promotion on social media and other outlets. But this organised initiative with active public involvement is another step in cementing the urban art movement as legitimate, but also connecting and teaching those who may not have much (or any) knowledge of the scene and giving them the power to shape their own surroundings.
So get yourself involved by voting for your preferred pieces. Artist? Reserve your spot at the Market Road Gallery now, and see your work at marketroadgallery.org!