Meeting Of Styles UK 2015
MOSUK 2015 was a great event to attend, and I would recommend that a beady eye is kept on what they get up to. If you didn’t make it down this weekend I recommend you visit Brick Lane to have a look at these stunning pieces of art - before they all get covered up!
This weekend saw the Meeting of Styles UK graffiti festival return to London. Now in its sixth year, Meeting of Styles is about getting spraycan artists from all over the world to come together, collaborate and do what they do best – paint.
My initial experience of the Meeting Of Styles UK 2015 (MOSUK) event began with Dave, a fairly affable bloke whose opening gambit was “Excuse me whilst I finish my lunch”, gesturing towards the cigarette in his hand. Dave (just…Dave) runs Shoreditch Street Art Tours and had agreed to offer a couple of free walking tours over the weekend to support the MOSUK event. His knowledge of street art and graffiti (two separate entities – I’m sure it’s written in ancient street art scripture that “Foolish is he whom confuseth the two forms”) is honest and unpretentious, while his passion for art and heritage is heartfelt and boundless. All of this was delivered with a casual and relaxed demeanor. He has a policy that no question is too stupid – although I witnessed several that came close – and was easy to approach as we wandered along the backstreets of Brick lane.
We briefly discussed emerging styles of graffiti that were becoming apparent along the urban canvases of Brick Lane (or should I say “Prick lane” as some anarchist had recently rendered onto the street sign) such as the “caligraffiti” of Andrea Riot/OTWO along Redchurch street, where calligraphy and graffiti are fused together in one piece, as well as older styles; cue ROA’s unmissable giant hedgehog. After being taken around some of the more ‘hidden’ areas of Brick Lane we were taken to the Nomadic Community Garden to see some artists paint live.
The Nomadic Community Garden is a transportable garden that takes over disused/unoccupied land and encourages the local community to get involved, grow food, and share skills. You can support what they do at spacehive.com/nomadic-
Hidden behind Allen gardens, the Nomadic Community Garden is a natural suntrap, and provides the perfect antidote to the touristy hustle and bustle of Prick – sorry – Brick Lane. At MOSUK there were various pieces of upcycled garden furniture to recline on whilst you snacked on something from the tasty BBQ, enjoyed a very reasonably (and refreshingly) priced selection of beverages (Pistonhead beer £2. Cocktail £4. BARGAIN!) and chilled to the backdrop of DJs and beatboxers.
MOSUK saw the likes of NEOH delving into the realms of socially conscious abstractism with split heads (a rallying cry addressing mental health and the NHS), MASAI juxtaposing animal and machine with a huge lion’s head on the side of a van, and some pizza lovin’ spacecats from the Lost Souls crew, to name a few. And if all that work got you inspired, there was the chance to try it for yourself, either by making your own t-shirt or getting involved in one of the workshops.