Legendary street artists transform Ilford
- 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.
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.
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.
"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."
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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 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.
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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.
Ben said his piece was "a statement about society's will to overcome difficult circumstances."
Council leader Jas Athwal called the pieces "incredible" and said artwork would be at the heart of the cultural centre the council is creating.