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London Street Art Immersion 2 – The Naturalists

 

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GRAFFITI WITH A MESSAGE

What really struck me about yesterday’s street art cruise in London’s East End was the propensity of some artists to use their medium to portray an environmental message.  It was fantastic to see them use graffiti creatively to show the natural world to the people of cities, many of whom may never get to see a wild whale, paper nautilus or Black-crested Coquette Hummingbird.

A few of these artists really stood out for me.

LOUIS MASAI MICHEL

Website: http://www.louismasai.com/

Masai first started to paint birds all over building to highlight the plight of our vanishing avian species so I was pleasantly surprised to see a large Black-crested Coquette on a building yesterday.  Mark and I had actually seen these hummingbirds in the wilds of Honduras in January!

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His work with birds didn’t just end with murals either.  He also chose to construct some really elaborate nesting boxes to attach to buildings to highlight the habitat destruction that many birds face in the wild.

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His current campaign highlights the global issues that bees are facing and his message is clear – if we lose our pollinators, we will die.

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These are very important messages because many people living in cities probably don’t see bees on a daily basis so I hope they stop and think when they see his art!

ATM

ATM is another one using graffiti as a way of highlighting the ominous future of some endangered species.

Website: http://atmstreetart.tumblr.com/

Video of ATM’s work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE3XrNQOrfs

I loved the work in the video above of the Bittern.

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What I really enjoy about ATM’s work is the fact he uses the environment to his best advantage when he decides on a location to paint.  I thought the image of toadstools below was excellent because it looks like they are growing out of the plants who decided to take up residence next to the wall anyway.

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ROA

Website: http://roaweb.tumblr.com/

We came across a giant Hedgehog in Shoreditch yesterday!

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LILY MIXE

Words cannot adequately describe the work of French graphic artist Lily Mixe who has taken to doing large street installations of sea creatures and other wildlife.  Of everything we looked at in London yesterday, it was her work that had me the most mesmerised.

I’ve just been sucked into the vortex of her website: http://lilymixe.wordpress.com/

Needless to say that her work doesn’t get painted over much!

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OTHER STREET ARTISTS USING NATURE AS THEIR INSPIRATION

Many of whom I don’t know the names of so I’m sorry I couldn’t credit their work properly.

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I’m still reeling from the visual overload of Shoreditch yesterday.  I need to head back there soon!

 

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