Reclaiming Public Space WXSP

Whitecross Street Party is one of the best reasons to take a detour if you are heading over to the Barbican


Artist Lours

Lying a few minutes walk from London’s brutalist icon, one weekend a year, Whitecross Street Party is a rare opportunity to see multiple street artists creating at the same time up and down a street more familiar for its foodie scene.  Market stalls are repurposed as workshops and art activities and the whole area becomes a creative platform, bringing together cutting-edge street artists, to paint live over two days, alongside community-led projects performed across two stages, art installations, and participatory workshops.

This year the party is taking inspiration from the late Olive Morris, a black community and feminist activist in South London in the 1970s. Dying of cancer aged 27 in 1979 she left behind an inspirational legacy. Reclaiming public spaces nods to Olive who fought for housing rights and education. Julia Pond of WXSP explains

‘WXSP connects the theme to the tradition of street artists who claim public spaces for art. It also references the right to gather peacefully whether to party – or protest, a right that has been threatened this year with the Policing Bill. A leading female street artist, Lours, also a co-founder of female street art collective Womcollective, was commissioned to create the poster.’

Started by Teddy Baden, a street artist who lived locally, the party has kept its non-conformist spirit into its 12th year. Some of the UK’s top street artists paint live, this year including Perspicere, Voyder, Eine, Sophie Mess, and more.

Perspicere will create a world-record size circular piece clocking in at 3m wide, using an estimated 45 miles of string. A community engagement programme titled WXSP Ecological Street Commons, is also connecting artists, creative practitioners and communities to create projects that explore climate issues within EC1’s urban environment. These projects include City Pollinators (mobile planters) zero waste cooking, Sweatshop (clothes upcycling). 


Need to know before you go:

Its a free event!

July 9th and 10th 2022, 12pm-6pm

Nearest tube: Barbican, District, Circle, Metropolitan Line

Farringdon (Barbican exit) Elizabeth Line

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