I’ve done a couple of street art tours in Shoreditch but never really thought about doing one in Camden as I always associate it with positively heaving markets and hundreds upon hundreds of tourists but when Nelly of MonoPrixx offered a complimentary tour of course I said yes. Especially since I needed to stockpile some pictures for my new Instagram account!
Nelly met us just outside Camden Town station at 11am on a Saturday morning and I could tell by her paint flecked coat that this wasn’t just a job for her but a passion. I was absolutely right and over the next two hours she not only showed us some incredible works of art right there on the streets of Camden but also enlightened us to some of the unwritten rules of street art.
1. If you want you work to last go high
2. You can only paint over an existing art piece if you are confident you can replace it with something better
3. Anyone can paint in a legal space but those with more developed skills tend to get bigger spaces to work with
Camden has a large number of legal wall spaces many of whom are managed by Nelly. These are spaces where people or companies allow work to be displayed with their permission. The only downside of this is that it sometimes restricts what the artist can paint on these especially political messages as no one wants people to be offended by it.
One of my favourite pieces of the tour was this one by Vanessalongchamp called free. Most art doesn’t have a publicly known meaning behind it but Vanessa has said that the birds in this one represent her fears. As you can see there is a solitary bird still left locked away that she cannot yet bring herself to face.
If you want to know more cool stories like this then I thoroughly recommend you book on a tour. The Camden art scene is forever changing so you will have a different experience from me and anyone else who’s done it previously!