Street art, with all its iconoclastic undertones, is being seen through a new, design-minded lens thanks to boutique hotelier citizenM and Netherlands-based photography company The Impossible Project. Equipping nine contemporary creatives with a refurbished Polaroid 600 camera, the duo asked each to share their snaps of unexpected public art.
The result, on display at citizenM’s Tower of London outpost until 17 June, offers rare insight into how practioners of contemporary design see our public spaces. As you might expect from some of the most original minds in the business, the final roles of film are a diverse offering. Graphic artist Camille Walala’s ever-colourful aesthetic flashes in her vibrant images. Featuring near-neon pinks and dynamic patterns, her film describes London's more unconventional facades, including examples of her own public works.
A Polaroid by fashion designer and Shoreditch resident Eudon Choi
Similarly, product designer Kim Thomé has stuck to what he knows, capturing Walthamstow and Hackney – the boroughs he calls home. An avid cyclist, Thomé used his exploratory two-wheel experience to hunt out London’s hidden street art; in crumbling alleyways, through marshes and under metal bridges.
Fashion designer Eudon Choi (who, being a Shoreditch native will be achingly familiar with the varying successes of urban art) does something quite unexpected, by venturing outside of his borough and into London’s surrounding countryside for much of his collection. Instead of capturing street art in the traditional sense, he looks to street performers for his subject matter. Other designers to put in London street art in the frame include Raw-Edges, Paul Cocksedge, Benjamin Hubert, Marcin Rusak, and De Allegri & Fogale.
‘A Different View: Public Spaces Reimagined’ is presented as part of Photo London – an important stage on which to showcase the city's underbelly. By displaying these fresh-faced images in the citizenM hotel, which already features works by the likes of Andy Warhol and Studio Drift, London’s oft-forgotten public spaces are given their moment in the spotlight.