Shop shutters have been turned into a canvas by artist Lewis Campbell, whose imaginative new Well Street mural, entitled ‘Elevation’, combines mythological themes with reflections on a city in flux.
The piece, which is currently taking shape and should be completed within a week, is one of several street artworks to grace Well Street, which was once part of an East End fashion rag trade district and is now buzzing anew. Well Street Market was recently relaunched following a successful crowdfunding campaign and will contain numerous fashion and art stalls, and the march of the coffee shops continues in this fast changing part of Hackney.
Campbell, who grew up in West London but has lived close to Well Street for around seven years, pitched his idea for the mural to Jackie Dacres, a qualified blacksmith and a former deputy head of art in secondary schools who owns vintage fashion shop Rekindled.
She told the Hackney Citizen: “Lewis approached me and talked about what how he’d like to use the shutter as a canvas and submitted his idea. I really liked it so I gave him the go ahead – and I still like it.”
Campbell, who sells prints of his artworks at a market stall in Brick Lane, said the mural was his take on the changing cityscape of London and upsides and downsides of regeneration.
It “depicts a goddess of the city moving these bricks around. Maybe she’s constructing a city or maybe she’s rebuilding it – it’s open to interpretation,” he said.
Kevin Jones, who is part of the Well Street Traders’ and Residents’ Association, said Campbell was “just one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet”.
He added: “Jackie wants things on the walls of her shopfront that reflect what’s happening in the inner city and inspire young people to say: ‘Let’s do something like this.’”