Community News

Colourful new murals in Clerkenwell draw mixed responses

An expansion in local street art is not universally loved

By Oliver Bennett

A colourful mural on the side of a residential block, two children sitting on a swing, one pointing at the sky
Generation Equality Mural by Alice Pasquini on Johnson Gardens. Photo: EC1 Echo

A crop of new murals can be seen in the Leather Lane area of Clerkenwell to a mixed response.

The largest is the Generation Equality Mural by Alice Pasquini on Johnson Gardens in Leather Lane EC1, made to mark the “first year of implementation of the Generation Equality initiative’s Global Acceleration Plan”, launched during the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico City and Paris last year.

The mural, which was begun in late July, is certainly striking as part of the mixed office and residential complex of Johnson Gardens. But some in the area believe that the mural has no relevance to the area, has not reflected any aspects of its locality and was put up with no local consultation.

Objectors include long-time Leather Lane market stall holder Richie Rich, who sells fashion garments on the street.

“It’s out of place, and too in your face,” says Richie, who has worked on the street for 37 years. “And the lack of consultation was dreadful. It changes the character of the street for worse.”

A stylised panda's head says 'I am Some Art''
Someart’s figures in Leather Lane. Photo: EC1 Echo

Meanwhile, local resident Ann Winchester has drawn the ECI Echo’s attention to a crop of new street art pieces, including this one by the Pret a Manger on the corner of Farringdon and Clerkenwell Roads. By artist Someart, who lives and works in Poznań, Poland, they constitute what the artist calls his “street logo”. These smaller and more renegade art forms do not seem to have caused the same consternation as the Johnson Gardens mural.

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