Legendary street artists transform Ilford

Legendary street artists Ben Eine and Dotmaster unveiled new artwork as part of efforts to regenerate Ilford Town centre. - Credit: Louis Thornton

A four-year passion project from a pair of residents working with Redbridge Council has resulted in internationally-renowned street artists transforming Ilford Town as part of a regeneration project. 

Tom and Rieko Vining set up the social media presence @ilfordvillage five years ago as a means of raising awareness of the beauty and culture in the area, as well as finding new possibilities for regeneration.

Four years ago the couple met with the council to discuss possibilities of using street art to transform the town centre. 

Before and after

Before and after. - Credit: Google Maps/Louis Thornton

The timing wasn't right then but after four years of work and collaboration the opportunity arose to bring their ideas to life, which coincided with a new cultural quarter, the opening of the Space art gallery and construction set to begin on Mercato Ilford.

Ben Eine started his career more than 30 years ago. 

Ben Eine is regarded as a pioneer in the exploration of various letterforms. - Credit: Louis Thornton

The first project in Janice Mews and Kenneth More Road is a joint venture from legendary street artists Dotmaster and Ben Eine, whose artwork on display are direct reactions to the pandemic.

Tom Vining told the Recorder: "Ilford can get a lot of bad press but there are some amazing things going on in the area and we wanted to highlight that.

Dotmaster at work on End of the line

Dotmaster at work on End of the line - Credit: Louis Thornton

"Walking around Ilford there are so many empty walls and if places like Shoreditch could be full of beautiful street art I don't see why Ilford can't as well."

The paintings started on Monday, February 15.

The paintings started on Monday, February 15 and were unveiled on Saturday, February 20. - Credit: Louis Thornton


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The first work is called End of the line by Dotmaster, aka Leon Seesix, who first started painting on the streets of Brighton in the early '90s before working with Banksy in his Waterloo Cans Festival as well as being featured in the Oscar-nominated Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Dotmaster started painting on the streets of Brighton in the early '90s.

Dotmaster started painting on the streets of Brighton in the early '90s. - Credit: Louis Thornton

Dotmaster said his piece was a playful take on the visuals of the pandemic with two kids fighting over the red lines of Covid graphs we are so used to seeing these days.

 

Dotmaster calls this work 'End of the Line' and is a playful piece on the red lines of graphs and charts we've gotten so...

Dotmaster calls this work 'End of the Line' and is a playful piece on the red lines of graphs and charts we've gotten so used to seeing throughout the pandemic. - Credit: Louis Thornton

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The second piece is Survival by Ben Eine, who is regarded as a pioneer in the exploration of contemporary typography art.

Artist Ben Eine said his piece is a statement about society's will to overcome difficult circumstances.

Artist Ben Eine said his piece is a statement about society's will to overcome difficult circumstances. - Credit: Louis Thornton

Ben said his piece was "a statement about society's will to overcome difficult circumstances."

Ben Eine started his career more than 30 years ago. 

Ben Eine started his career more than 30 years ago. - Credit: Louis Thornton

Council leader Jas Athwal called the pieces "incredible" and said artwork would be at the heart of the cultural centre the council is creating. 

The works have been a passion project for @ilfordvillage founder Tom Vining (centre), who first approached the council...

The works have been a passion project for @ilfordvillage founder Tom Vining (centre), who first approached the council about this four years ago. - Credit: Louis Thornton


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