Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Vandalism or Art?

Last month during a butterfly foray I was taken onto a brownfield site that was once a brickworks. Clay extraction started on this site in the 1940's but the works closed in the late 1970's since when nature has been slowly reclaiming the remnants of the factory buildings. On any abandoned site it is not unusual to see some form of immature daubed scribbling but I wasn't prepared for the sight that greeted me after negotiating through the lush green birch trees that now screen much of this derelict site.

In 2004 the main factory roof collapsed and diggers were brought in to clear the wreckage, thus opening for the first time large areas of the site, and almost every space on the remaining brick walls had become a canvas for graffitists who have covered them in bright murals and tags.

I can't say that I am a particular fan of graffiti art, but many of these are pretty special; whole walls covered with colourful artwork which must have taken hours to complete.

Graffiti is still a form of vandalism although many consider the 'wildstyle' form containing the calligraphic writing style of interlocking letters etc. to be art. This derelict and hidden away site has now become decorated with a varied mixture of styles including tags, throw ups and more elaborate pieces.

So whether you consider it vandalism or art I certainly had to admire the artistic ingenuity and thought that went into some of these creations. FAB.


  1. In some places I would say vandalism, but in the areas where these seem to be, I believe they are an expression of various artists, that have colored what otherwise was a starkly abandoned area. So it is a form of art, yes! Much better their paint applied rather then destruction of the area.

  2. it seems in these areas it is art and I think it is very creative however I would not like to live opposite one of these walls

  3. Obvious talent there Frank, its a pity they don't have the knowledge to put it to good use.

  4. There are some very talented graffiti artists about. I often wonder how much it costs to produce them when you consider the cost of a tin of spray paint.

    1. John ... There were a few empty tins of Dulux nearby so they weren't apparently stinting on quality!

  5. wow. this is really well done!

  6. Many do call it art...maybe, maybe not. One of our daughters lives in Florida and there is a gentleman down there that makes a huge paycheck, hiring people to paint street art...never know~

  7. Many nicely done and so colorful.

  8. Someone put a lot of time into these. Why don't they just get permission to do it legally where everyone can see. They are pretty amazing to be hidden away.

  9. This is a beautiful illustration of the world today. If only that talent and art could be channelled. It could change the world.

  10. There is much hidden talent waiting to be found...:)JP

  11. I found your blog at Carol Mattingly Photography's blog on her sidebar. This graffiti is quite amazing actually. Some is definitely artistic as shown here. Interesting how people found this spot and claimed it as a public art gallery of sorts. Pam


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