Monday, 9 August 2010

Hot daubs

The might of Hackney’s anti-graffiti team (well, two blokes in a van) was out in force in my neck of the woods this morning.

A fortnight ago, some protective wooden boards went up along the Lea Navigation next to Millfields Park, as the waterway is being dredged. Naturally, within days, the bare wood panels had attracted a few graffiti tags - but nothing to get too het up about.

Then, this morning, as I was put through my paces on the park's parallel bars by my personal trainer, Murat, I was surprised that a couple of council workers were busy painting over the graffiti with black splodges. Well, one was grafting with the paintbrush, while the other sat in the van, fiddling with the radio. Either way, pretty quick going for Hackiney. It's taken them months to get to grips with my noisy neighbours, but that's not for here.

Once the daubings were blotted out by uneven but not entirely artless blocks of black Dulux, thus…

…the council lads retired to the van, put their feet on the dash, and had a well-earned half hour’s rest. That's good use of Hackney Council's money.

However, in just a few hours, the rather eycatching black blobs seem to have attracted more attention than the graffiti tags ever did.

After lunch, while I pedalled back from a quick pootle on the bike along Chatsworth Road, I noticed a cheeky young fellow (top off, but way too young and skinny for me) not spray-painting graffiti on the hoardings, but doing proper sketching. In charcoal. (You get a classier kind of urban artist in E5.)

He was adding leaves to a lovely tree he'd scamped out, next to the legend “Love is the answer”. A quote, presumably, from the late John Lennon’s ‘Mind Games’. As far as I know the only connection the late Beatle had with Clapton was the guitar solo on While My Guitar Gently Weeps, but that's what you get if you do research for your A-Level art project on Wikipedia.

I’ll pop along later to see what else the saucy little scamp has done. Could I have witnessed The New Banksy at work?

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