Posts Tagged ‘street art’

The Pothole Gardener – the green fingered Banksy

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Photographs Copyright of Steve Wheen

I came across an article in the Metro this morning which captured my imagination and seems to have become something of a PR and social media phenomenon in the last couple of months.

Described by the press as ‘the guerilla gardener from Shoreditch’, Steve Wheen aka The Pothole Gardener has spent the last few weeks planting mini gardens in potholes on some of London’s worst roads to highlight the lack of repairs.

The idea apparently came to him after many times of nearly falling off his bike riding over holes in the road. He thought by planting flowers in them, it might deter cyclists and motorists to drive around the hole to avoid running them over, claiming that his longest ‘installation’ lasted three weeks.

A keen gardener with no garden of his own, Steve described the project as ‘part art project, part labour of love, part experiment, part mission to highlight how bad our roads are – I want to brighten up a few peoples lives momentarily, and creating mini-gardens in pot holes is my means.’

Likened to ‘guerilla’ street artist Banksy, Steve completes his work before anyone can stop him and like Banksy, is using his environment to make satirical comment and political statements – see below.

The Pothole Gardener has featured in the Telegraph and The Sun, has a large Twitter following – 4 tweets to his blog as I have been writing this – and 25,000 hits to his site this month; and he made his first pothole garden just a few weeks ago. Brilliant.

There are some seriously holey roads around Derby that could do with the green-fingered approach.

Follow him on Twitter @thepotholegardener or check out The Pothole Gardener blog to find out which London street is next.

BLU Street Animation

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

I saw this a while ago and have just revisited it; it’s worth a look. The amount of planning and time put into the illustration and filming is truly admirable and it got me thinking about the subject of street art. Last year there was a TV advert for a car brand (which brand I can’t recall and can’t find the advert online anywhere, good ad but no brand impression made). It posed the question of whether you see art or a crime whilst the camera pans past a hugh spray painted mural. The example the advert gave in my opinion was art; it wasn’t a mindless tag but a beautiful illustrated mural. Obviously this subject opens up a whole debate with many different perspectives.

An article last week in the Manchester press reported of a case where two lads received 15 and 12 month prison sentences for vandalism, which was then overturned when a facebook group was set up to lobby for their release. It was also reported that their ASBOs were quashed for “being ‘inappropriate’ because the graffiti was neither threatening nor offensive.” I’d say in the case of Blu’s animation piece, permission to use the walls would have been sought, due to the duration of the piece and the style/technique of painting with the white base. Is it just a really clever and interesting way to clean off the vandalism beneath? Maybe they were contracted by their local council….that would be genius, street cleaning and art combined. See, there is away we can all live in harmony.