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.
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!)