• Leake Street Arches

Paint Jam brings over 20 new pieces to Leake Street in a day

Updated: Feb 5, 2020

Paint Jams (where graffiti crews and collectives get together at a designated time and place to paint to a theme) are not new to Leake Street.

But Saturday 21st September saw the first Paint Jam as part of our new #LeakeStreetLIVE programme. Run by Wild Style Café and SoFly, the Jam was held on World Alzheimer’s Day in association with Alzheimer’s Society.

SoFly (aka Sophy Robson) has been running the #LeakeStreetLIVE free beginners graffiti workshops for us throughout September. Each Friday, she teaches groups of up to 20 people a few key skills before handing the sprays over to them to put into practice what they’ve learnt. As a volunteer for Dementia Friends, Sophy came up with the idea of the Paint Jam to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and worked with Wild Style Café to bring the event idea to life.

Wild Style Café is a South London graffiti coffee shop run by writers. In addition to selling a range of sprays (and serving up a great cup of coffee and variety of smoothies!), they also run graffiti tours, lead graff workshops and take commissions.

On the Saturday, over 20 artists joined us on Leake Street to paint to the theme ‘See the person, not the Dementia’. It was great to see the creative interpretations of each artist; many of whom did tribute pieces to family members. Some used letter writing styles to spell out people’s names or used photos of loved ones as inspiration while others expressed the frustration of the sufferer.

Artists included @DmTart whose haunting piece of an eye surrounded by hands incited a lot of conversations with passers-by.

Equally moving was @real_lours’s piece in honour of her grandma which layered a brain over words to represent family members and memories being forgotten.

A collaboration between @atila_8t4 and @matthew_eckersley showing a younger and older version of a person’s face also got a lot of attention from the crowd.

Running with the support of Leake Street Arches, meant access was give to a usually inaccessible area (the billboard at the entrance) as well as use of a Cherry Picker.

The organisers allocated this space to @SprayUps who did a graphic interpretation of the disease to represent confusion.

The event attracted over 2000 visitors throughout the day who took photos and donated to the charity via buckets carried by volunteers.  In addition to raising awareness of this debilitating disease, the event raised over £250 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Huge thanks to Wildstyle Café, Sophy and all the artists who joined us on the day. We look forward to hosting more Paint Jams with other artists and collectives later in the year so if you’re interested in collaborating, send us an email or DM on Instagram/Twitter.

A selection of photos of some of the pieces created on the day can be seen below (with thanks to @octoclic for most of them!)

Tunnel Rules

London & Continental Railways Limited (LCR), the landlord of Leake Street Arches and the managers of the Leake Street Tunnel, are keen to support the creative community working on Leake Street and ensure that other people in the local area continue to value the contribution that tunnel activities bring to the neighbourhood. These Tunnel Rules are designed to create an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Events, Filming and Photography

If you are interested in holding an event (including photo shoot or film shoot) in the public spaces of Leake Street Arches, please complete this Authorisation Form and send to info@leakestreetarches.london.

If you are interested in holding a private event at one of the businesses in Leake Street Arches, please contact the business directly or email us on
info@leakestreetarches.london and we will introduce you.

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