From characterful flamingos to a charming fox, a quirky brick-flat and our very own Banksy, Stoke Newington has some fabulous street art.
Local businesses are keen to add to the art scene here and big plans are afoot. Stay tuned to our Events page for info on an Invisible Arts trail, taking place in Stoke Newington (July 2-10).
Meanwhile you’ll find the following treasures while you walk around the neighbourhood.
1. Most famous here is the Banksy on Stoke Newington Church St (on a large wall near Nando’s). It depicts the royal family waving from a balcony and was used as the cover of Blur’s 2003 hit Crazy Beat. It was partly painted over by Hackney Council workers eight years after it was created but the building’s owner stopped them before it disappeared completely.
2. This fox on Sandbrook Road by stencil artist Stewy has become something of a local landmark and represents the reclamation of urban areas by nature. There’s another one on a house at the top of Albion Road. Bristol-based Stewy has progressed from creating images of small black and white pigeons to life-sized ghost images of people with a historical connection to a particular building or place.
3. Inspired by his own experience living in cramped conditions in the city, artist Raphael Vangelis fills in holes in damaged walls with quirky ‘Brickflats’. There’s one outside Stoke Newington Fire Station on Church St called ‘Poorple Guy’. The resin-cast box has a figure squashed inside. There are around a dozen of his Brickflats dotted around London.
4. Frankie Strand has been brightening up Stokey’s streets with reptiles and flamingos for years. She’s drawn to abandoned places and nature and there’s usually a fair amount of turquoise, pink and green in her work. Frankie’s art is largely informed by time spent sketching specimens in museums and observing plants and wildlife during her travels. You’ll find her art in the alley beside Kynaston Gardens and near the junction of Northwold Road and Rectory Road.
5. Frank Wren’s The Seventh Angel is mounted high on the side wall of 167 Stoke Newington Church Street. Made in 1964 midway through his career in steel sculpture, the 12ft high piece was first displayed in Christ Church, Lancaster Gate until 1977 when the church was demolished. It sat in the crypt of St James, Sussex Gardens until 2002 when his family installed it in Stoke Newington as his memorial.
Frank lived locally with his son Tony. His initial career was as a sales manager for British Cellophane but he dabbled with engineering projects on the side and developed considerable expertise in electric quasi-arc welding. When the company restructured in 1967, he devoted himself to art and, in 10 years, created more than 100 pieces. His unique style involved intricate individually cut pieces, texture and colour changes and his work represents organic, living forms. He also produced a series of handmade lamps which were sold at Heals and Habitat.
6. Two new artworks recently appeared in Kynastan Alleyway. The collaboration between Jelly and Apparan depicts two bold women. Jelly is best known for painting feminine figures with supersized eyelashes and positive slogans. She strives to reflect her own experience as a disabled woman of colour and evoke feelings of self-worth and empathy. Apparan’s work depict women’s issues and struggles and aims to empower.
7. The Fab lolly and ice cream cone on Albion Road. Commissioned by a member of the indie band Cornershop, who lives in the area, this was artist Ian Viggars’ first public mural. He said: “I love the idea of reducing everyday meals to such bright, simple designs and colours so that they become almost childlike and abstract.”