Gallery: some street art in London’s Brick Lane
Brick Lane, in London’s East End, was once among the poorest slums in the capital. It takes its name from the 15th century brick and tile production based in this area. Like all poor city districts it became a magnet for various groups of immigrants over the centuries. First Jews, then French Huguenots, then Irish established communities here over the centuries, and later Bangladeshi-Sylheti immigrants settled here and made the street famous for its restaurants.
That’s how I first got to know it, as a favourite destination for Londoners and visitors in search of a good cheap curry, or a traditional beigel. But more recently, again like the poorer districts of many cities, it has been ‘discovered’ by young people in search of cheaper accommodation. They created an edgier vibe, bringing street art and street food, and making the area a more fashionable place to live. Vegan restaurants, street food stalls and independent coffee shops now rub shoulders with the curry houses; vintage clothes shops with the sellers of traditional Bengali styles; and the former Truman Brewery has reopened as a bar.
But the area retains its strong links to the Bengali community. There’s an active mosque; street signs are in Bengali as well as English; and the ornamental Brick Lane Arch marks the entrance to the street in the red and green colours of the Bangladesh flag.
For us today it’s the go-to place to photograph the ever-changing street art and grab a good coffee or something stronger. This gallery showcases photos from my most recent visit in March 2022. On this occasion I tried to focus not just on the larger murals but also the quirky little signs, posters, pictures and even mini-sculptures that people attach to the walls around here. They won’t all be to everyone’s taste but I hope some of them make you smile!
Sharing for the Photographing Public Art challenge this week.
I visit Brick Lane regularly; these photos were all taken on my most recent visit in March 2022
The first portrait of a woman is my favorite. They are all fun! Glad to know they are always changing.
Thank you Ruth 🙂 Yes, always change around Brick Lane, which make sit worth going back again and again!
We have a Little Bangladesh in Los Angeles but it’s tiny taking up less than half a kilometer of road. Btw…the last photo almost looks like the current PM.
That’s intentional I am sure – Boris the clown. Although he’s far from a laughing matter right now 😡
I’m always amazed to see how creative these artists are! The woman’s face with the flowers, all in between the windows … that’s pretty awesome!
Thanks, yes, that one is particularly special 🙂
Very interesting street art
Thank you Tanja, glad you found it interesting 🙂
I will be there soonish I hope 💕 Would love to go there again.
Let me know if you do plan a visit – we could maybe meet for a coffee?
That will be lovely. My son from London is coming over to Melbourne in July to August this year, so plan is for hubby and I to go there next year. Not quite sure what month tho. Will let you know! ❤️
Yes, do keep me posted 😍
Another bit of London to add to the list- I swear this city will expand to fill whatever time I have down South! I think I’ll get major brownie points with the teens in I can bolt this onto our next visit. Any specific restaurant recommendations? The above comment about shit-but-cheap makes me wary haha.
Definitely go here, and Shoreditch (which adjoins it) too. You can even do street art tours in this area if that would interest your teens? To be honest though I wouldn’t recommend any of the Brick Lane restaurants these days, they’ve become too complacent and too touristy. It’s great for independent coffee shops and street food, but if you want a sit down meal I’d look elsewhere. It’s ages since we’ve eaten out in this area so I can’t really help – sorry!
Aletta - nowathome
A great selection of the muarals in Brick Lane!
Thank you – lad you liked them 🙂
Piggybacking onto Steven’s comment, I smiled when I saw the “Don’t Stare at This”!
Me too – and of course you can’t help staring just a little!
Some amazing art you’ve captured in Brick Lane, Sarah. It just goes to show what a wealth of talent there is out there. And there’s something for everyone, isn’t there? From witty (love the pink money-muncher!) to perceptive and clever (love is never dumb) and just wonderful, like that incredible picture of Audrey Hepburn. How they manage the perspective working at that scale I can’t imagine. The place has got soul, that’s for sure! 🙂
Thank you so much Alli 😊 I’m always in awe at the talent of the artists who work on the large scale murals – to create something so perfect when you can’t see all of it at once must be a challenge!
Me too, Sarah. I really admire that talent. 🙂
philosophy through photography
Love ‘ here is no truth’
Thank you – yes, I liked that one!
philosophy through photography
Oh, I haven’t been for a few years, and it’s always changing….this post has made me think I really must make the effort to get back up there…..
Yes, it’s always interesting to revisit and see what’s changed. And I enjoy the atmosphere on a Sunday morning in particular 🙂
I used to go up fairly regularly, but alas no longer
It’s a favourite of ours – worth the effort as you say 🙂
It’s good to see your latest collection Sarah. Some of these murals are fabulous. I just hope that some of the graffiti has disappeared.
It’s changed already since we were there and will do so again – that’s what makes it so worth revisiting from time to time 🙂
I found this particularly interesting because of a Deborah Crombie book that takes place in Brick Lane. It’s fun to see what I’ve read about.
I don’t know that book but I’ll look out for it. There’s also ‘Brick Lane’ by Monica Ali, which I have read and can recommend 🙂
I’m not sure offhand which of the series it is but the entire series is excellent.
Sarah, you find the most amazing murals and artwork. I had to laugh at the toothy bite out of the coin! So cute. I love portraits. The building-sized woman is beautiful. You captured a lot of humor in your pictures. It’s always awesome to learn a little of the history of a place. Thanks for sharing this lovely post.
Thanks so much Marsha. This is a rich hunting ground for street art in London, I’m sure I’ll have more to share from there in the future!
Wow, not just graffiti scrawls, they’re true works of art.
Many of them are indeed works of art but of course you get graffiti scrawls too – I just don’t bother photographing them!
Brick Lane is as good for street art as it is for food. It was in a curry house in Brick Lane that my son told me he’d met his future wife. It was also where one of the restaurant hawkers said to me, “come in, cheapest curry in Brick Lane. Shit food but definitely the cheapest. Come see tor yourself”.
Ha, that’s a new line! They normally claim it’s the best curry on Brick Lane even though we and they know that it’s probably no better nor worse than the rest 😂
Haha, did you go in? It sounds like a location very dear to you.
I don’t think so…but I’ve done daft things before so I may have done!
I love Brick Lane, but have only been at night and haven’t noticed the street art. They add even more colour to the lively spot! Maggie
Glad you enjoy Brick Lane at night 🙂 It really is worth a visit by day too, and you can even do street art tours in the area!
Steven and Annie Berger
Never get tired of London. Thanks.
Thank you 🙂
I like your selection. They give a great sense & vibe of the place. Somewhere I would want to visit and take photos.
Thanks Sandy 🙂 You’d love it around there, it’s great for street photography – and street food!