Friday Street

In 2008, Tate Modern opened the world’s first major public museum display of graffiti and street art, inviting six international artists to decorate its facade with enormous, eye-catching murals.

Laptop SkinMeanwhile, just down the riverbank at Southwark crown court, eight members of London’s well-known DPM crew were tried for an estimated £1m in graffiti-related damages across the country, and sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison – the biggest prosecution for graffiti that the UK has ever seen.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act defines graffiti as “painting, writing, soiling, marking or other defacing by whatever means”. Anything from a quickly executed “tag” to a detailed mural could be deemed illegal, and the artist subject to a £5,000 fine or prosecution. Despite this clear-cut definition, there are double standards in the way graffiti is perceived, and the law creates pockets of permission for some artists while penalising others.

DrawString Bag

Ban it, legalise it or put it behind glass! No matter what city councils or the police do, graffiti remains the scapegoat for all manner of urban ills, from burglary on one extreme to gentrification on the other. There are, however a large majority of us who enjoy bringing the outside home, to decorate our own walls with artistry from the streets.

Presenting ‘Friday Street’notebook

‘Friday Street’ is a collection of urban art from the youth of Leicester. Friday Street is situated on a semi-abandoned Jitty close to the Centre of Leicester. The area has seen multiple arson attacks, gang violence and street robbery. Yet Friday Street itself is an entrance to a beautiful public park, which attracts thousands of visitors on a regular basis.

Legal or not, as graffiti seeps into the fabric of our neighbourhoods, it becomes a natural fact of everyday life, a cultural practice appreciated and legitimised by young urban dwellers.

This “gentrification graffiti” is representative of the cycle of transformation in cities across the world, whereby artists are caught up in contributing to their own displacement.

What might you discover on Friday Street? – Click here to find out!


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This is My Suburb

Graffiti is sometimes recognised as a dirty form of street art, Indecipherable tags and secret codes are painted onto walls and most passers-by are immune to its messages.  Others are confused or angered by the visual intrusion into their daily commute.
Graffiti is seldom considered street art by many people, I don’t mind it, but I would not call graffiti, street art.  Perhaps because in my neighbourhood there is no street art, only graffiti.  The media centre on street artists, such as Robert Banks, or just Banksy. Banksy’s signature stencils of kissing coppers, flower-chucking terrorists and mischievous rats found on doorways and side streets have become so sought-after that they are being chipped out of walls and sold for ludicrous sums.  Like it or not, graffiti is part of our High Street.  It’s something we see daily, or share, or even participate in.
“This is My Suburb” is a quota of my neighbourhood, and counterpoints with the photographs taken for the “This is Our High Street” series. A set of photographs which display images of recession and decline from our High Street. they photographs highlight the bleakness of our economic downturn by presenting our decaying high street which we all share.
In my neighbourhood, there is no street art. No wonderfully inspired yet illegal murals or beautiful works art, spray painted by artists at after dusk. No political statements nor debates and no messages storming the traditional bastions of high culture.

These are simply photographs of tags and scribbles when collected together, demonstrates how our high street descends into the state of our neighbourhoods.

(This set exhibited at The Eleventh Hour Exhibition. The eight, original prints are available to purchase. Please contact me for information).

This is My Suburb 1, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 2, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 3, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 4, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 5, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb 6, by Tom Robson This is My Suburb, 7 by Tom Robson This is My Suburb, 8 by Tom Robson

The Eleventh Hour Exhibition open now!

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