To start, watch ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’. A documentary by Banksy that will give a great intro to the argument for well considered street art, as well as the attitude behind those that have become celebrated by the public – rebranding it as very distinct from ‘graffiti’.

Now watch Man on Wire. When Philippe Petit walked along a wire between the two towers of Notre Dame his friend said this.

“Its against the law but not wicked or mean”.

“Can you imagine you wake up in the city and you see a high rope walker between Notre Dame, its a dream.”

“Thats what really attracts me – the challenge part of doing something that is supposed to be impossible and in the mean time so beautiful and not only doesn’t hurt anybody but gives something to somebody.”

When a strong majority of the public agree that the unauthorised activity enhances the area, thats good enough for me.

I saw this when I was on the bus in Kensal Rise, it made my day – is anyone up for a game of giant cross roads naughts and crosses?

This was in a mates library at Leeds Uni, what would the librarian have said if they had asked permission? How is this not making the place better. These things bring personality to public places, we all share the space, we all have to live together in them – but so often they don’t feel like ‘ours’. To often they feel to institutionalised for us to feel comfortable in them, to enjoy them.

They humanise the public places because only a human could have the humour or imagination to create them, institutions never have humour or imagination. They run efficiently, not joyfully, Crucially, these things are kindly anonymous, because no one claims ownership the joy is shared.

Therefore, I’m all for harmless acts of public, anonymous humour or beauty.


I think it is very nice that street art can be used to put the most beautiful things in the most unpleasant of public areas. This is why I joined a friend in are own act of illegal art.

In my opinion a beautiful self portrait captured by the talented photographer, and in the opinion of most – something at least better than what was there before.