Over the years, I have visited a number of creative events, be they exhibitions like The Other Art Fair or outdoor festivals like the Croydon Rise Festival. Or even a Light, AV and Sound exhibition at Olympia as a Press Officer.
Whilst I started to visit some of these during my End of The Line travels, I have since taken a keener interest in all things art and creative related with a little more understanding. There’s an absolute joy and excitement in experiencing something new and getting close to the artist to discuss their thinking behind their creations.
It’s also noteworthy that London Local Authorities and private landlords have and continue to invest in public art. So while walking around London, I’ve found that I often stumble unexpectedly on a work of street art, a sculpture or some other intriguing installation. I now find I spend a little time researching the piece to help me understand its inspiration and connection with its location.
During the Covid lockdown in 2020 and the early part of 2021, such opportunities weren’t there. So once Government restrictions were lifted, I returned to the streets to explore more creative works.
This blog is a composition of three visits: the first around the streets of Shoreditch on 04/05/2021, exploring some excellent street art. Next, on 04/07/2021 revisiting The Other Art Fair, and most recently a return to PlasaShow2021 on 06/09/2021.
Here’s a little about each visit with some of the memorable moments I captured. If it inspires you to visit for yourself, I’ve also included some links to help you find out more about each event.
Street Art in Shoreditch
Why Shoreditch specifically?
From earlier wanderings around London, particularly Aldgate, Whitechapel and Brick Lane, I’ve noticed a morphing from graffiti to street art. So I’d say the demarcation line is somewhere along Brick Lane. But after experiencing the Rise Festival in Croydon in 2018, I’ve kept an eye open for new artwork, and Shoreditch had a growing reputation. A quick walk around one day confirmed this suspicion, so I decided a return was in order.
I wasn’t disappointed. The thing with street art is that it can be temporary. However, businesses have a growing trend to commission street art on or even inside their properties. That’s brilliant as their work is more lasting. But don’t be surprised if you go looking for a piece of work that’s replaced by another mural.
I follow several street artists who I’ve either met or whose work I admire. Predominantly on Instagram, so I have begun to admire their dedication, preparation and creativity. Of course, most have a style reflected through all their work, but whatever that style is, colour is the key to promoting their work. Vibrant is an understatement, and it’s always a thrill walking around a non-descript road suddenly confronted with a large scale mural. Time then to get close and enjoy the beauty of their creation – or sometimes you have to walk across the road to take it all in. Just brilliant.
More recently, the London Mural Festival 2020 took place in September last year. It set out to use London as a vast canvas, painting a minimum of 20+ new large-scale murals across the city. The inaugural festival celebrated creative communities across the city whilst introducing a new way for people to experience one of the world’s biggest art movements. It successfully featured 100+ international and local artists painting suburban houses to city centres and cultural hubs!
Several internet sites help promote street art. Have a look at Inspiringcity.com, londondreaming.com and Global Street Art. These links take you to their Shoreditch Street Art blogs. Also, why not subscribe to their mailing list to keep up to date with where and when the next events will take place?
I posted a collection of photos back in May, but if you missed them, here are a few of the artists whose work I enjoyed.
Go out, explore and enjoy!
Twitter: @inspiringcity @jim_vision @globalstreetart
Facebook: @inspiringcity @londondreamings @JimVision1 @globalstreetart @londonmuralfestival @MadC.one
Instagram: @inspiringcity @londondreamings @endofthelineldn @jimvision @globalstreetart @mad_c1
The Other Art Fair
I discovered the Other Art Fair by accident. It was a direct consequence of meeting and chatting to one of the artists at Croydon Rise Festival. Saroj Patel, a graduate of Central Saint Martins school of art, had been selected as one of eight finalists to exhibit her work alongside The Other Art Fair. I wrote about it here.
Saatchi Art sponsors The Other Art Fair and it’ one of the world’s leading artist fairs bringing art lovers of all experiences and tastes together with the best emerging artists. You can get up personal with the artists at these events and shop from thousands of affordable artworks in person. I’ve been to a couple of events, each as interesting and as varied as the next. But it’s exciting being able to talk with the artists about their work.
My visit in July was no different, and it’s where I met several artists whose work I shared across my social media channels earlier. And again, if you missed them, here are a few of the artists whose work I enjoyed:
Other artists whose work I admired include: Marion Mandeng and Dawn Beckles.
Why not subscribe to The Other Art Fair so that you can keep up to date when and where the next event is going to be? For example, it will be between the 14th-17th October at The Old Truman Building in Brick Lane in London. Maybe visit and explore the street art scene at the same time? See you there…
Twitter: @theotherartfair @EmmaLoizidesArt @jackyolivermetalwork @WhetstoneLtd @jearleyartist @dawnbeckles
Facebook: @theotherartfair @emmaloizidesart @jackyolivermetalwork @Joy-Hawkridge-299380804045819/ @jamesearleyartist.co.uk Marion-Mandeng-826145497497350 @dawnbecklesart
Instagram: @theotherartfair @saroj @emmasfineart @jackyolivermetalwork @joyhawkridge @jamesearleyartstudio @mandengmarion @dawn_beckles
LinkedIn: @emma-loizides-chaves-16935666/ @jacky-oliver-9bba6240/ @joyhawkridge/ @jamesearleyartist @dawn-beckles-91647236/
PlasaShow2021 at Olympia London
I first visited this event in 2019, and some of you will have read my earlier blog post or my book entry. I was fortunate to be invited back with a press pass this year for its return after the pandemic, and it was a great opportunity to find how the professions have survived and evolved.
The media has covered how this industry has been hit during the pandemic, and it was so encouraging hearing from several exhibitors about how they’ve kept going. And it was echoed by all those who attended Olympia over the three days from the 5th to 7th September.
For those not in the know, Plasa is the entertainment technology association, who provide a voice and platform for professionals who supply technology and creative solutions to live entertainment, theatre and events. So if you’ve ever wondered in awe at lighting, projections and sounds at live and televised events, these are the professionals who make it happen.
PlasaShow2021 is a capital event that brings together industry professionals and leading brands from pro audio, AV, lighting and stage technologies.
This year, Plasa and the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) Theatre Show collaborated to co-host their events. ABTT is a Charity and membership organisation created to raise technical standards in theatre and live performance. They specialise in providing technical advice and are a community of like-minded people who ultimately have the same goal – ‘to share the best of the best with the best’.
A recollection from my first visit was how difficult it was to capture some of the lighting effects, especially those displayed by quick-changing diodes or LED displays. So I decided on a different tack this time. I walked around Olympia’s Grand Hall a few times to get my bearings and take in the array of speakers, spot-lighting, projectors, cabling and mixing decks. Of course, there are many other features on display, and I wanted to make sure I took in a range of large and smaller exhibitors.
I decided to photograph just using my 10-18mm zoom lens. That way, I had to get in close to capture the products, and in doing so, ended up having some great conversations. Those I chatted to include:
My thanks also to the many other suppliers who were happy for me to roam around their exhibitions. They include apt-gb, EM Acoustics, KV2 Audio, Neutrik, ROBE and Sennheiser.
I’m pleased that this year’s event was still an exciting visit, and maybe I’ll return next year.
Twitter: @plasashow @plasaonline @goboplus @epsonuk @KV2Audio @Sennheiser_UK @flintstheatre @NeutrikOfficial @linkconnect_ @theabtt
Facebook: @PlasaShow @PlasaOnline @goboplus @epsonuk @KV2Audio @SennheiserUK @flintstheatre @neutrik @Aptspeakers @linkconnect @TheABTT
Instagram: @plasaonline @goboplus @epsonuk @kv2.audio @Sennheiser @flintstheatre @theabtt
LinkedIn: @plasa @epson-uk-ltd @kv-2audio @Sennheiser @linkusa
If you like what you see, please follow me on my social media channels.