I been visiting the Brick Lane area of London for the last few years while I’ve been in London on business. I often found myself wandering over to Brick Lane during my lunch hour and normally had my camera with me. Hanbury Street is just of Brick Lane. After revisiting some of my photos from the last few years I decided to post this article on the changing face of Hanbury Street, or wall to be more accurate.
This section of wall is part way down the street opposite the Jago Restaurant and at the junction with Spital Street. So far I have photographed it with four new paint jobs, beginning back in 2015 and last photographed mid 2017.
The changing face of Hanbury Street
This first picture was captured in 2015 and portrays colourful birds running to the left. Parts of the original yellow London Stock bricks of the wall are still visible in the top section of the image. These yellow London Stock bricks were the mainstay of building for most Victorian homes in London. Often mixed with the softer ‘Red rubbers’ that we’re used for detailing and features. This wall is even built in the proper English Bond of alternating header and stretcher courses.
In 2016 things changed and this next image became the theme for several months. Quite a contrast to the previous image. I think the artist has captured the sense of wet pavements well and for me the image is made by those reflections of light on the road surface. I’ve often thought about having a go at capturing this type of image on camera. I’ve seen some really stunning pictures and the rain, wet pavements and dark nights can make a stunning combination.
Early 2017 the wall was repainted again and this is probably my favorite image of the set. I call this the ‘Orange Men of Brick Lane’. I love the bright orange work suits of the men contrasted against the muted colours of the mural. These guys probably walk this street daily as part of their jobs and I was lucky enough to catch them animated as the walked past. It was a bit of a dull day so there is a bit of motion blur in the people, next time I must remember to up the iso and shutter speed.
Mid 2017 and the wall has again been repainted. I wonder how many iterations of the wall I’ve missed in the 3 years I’ve been photographing it? Again another complete transformation.
Some people might consider this to be graffiti, if it is it’s at the very best quality. For me this is Street Art and brings vibrancy and interest to a run-down part of the capital. These murals are done by professional artists who are invited to paint these murals by the various landlords in the area. I’m not sure when I’ll next go back. The company I work for has moved offices and it’s now beyond my lunch hour range. However that does mean I have a whole new area to explore.