French street artist Nerone has turned one of Shoreditch’s biggest and most conspicuous billboards into a work of art to celebrate the end of lockdown. Located on Chance Street, East London, the wall is usually used by big international companies to advertise their latest products, but because of the Covid-19 crisis the billboard went blank for several weeks, just like many other generally colourful streets in Shoreditch.
“Since lockdown, and with all the tourists gone, the walls of Shoreditch have been left desperately blank”, says Nerone. “Every wall in Shoreditch was painted black and it all looked very gloomy and sad. I was walking down Chance St and I thought, “Why should we wait for the next big ad to be released to see those walls full of life and colours again?”
Nerone’s point of view is that art should be part of people’s lives every day and even more so during challenging times. “I really wanted to bring a message of hope and positivity with this painting, in order to bring back some life to the area. When seeing my colourful, dreamlike flowers up on this wall, I want passers-by to smile and be cheerful. It felt so good to be able to paint such a huge wall again after 5 months of lockdown, even though I was still painting outlaw-style here and there.”
The wall, which is 24ft high and 62ft long – representing a 426 square ft surface in total – had to be painted using a scissor lift. As usual, Nerone worked in partnership with Montana cans, as well as Lee from Global Street Art, who asked to be granted the right to paint this specific wall. A video made by Louis Thornton documenting the painting is also about to be released.
Nerone’s colourful dreamlike flowers can be seen until 16th August in Chance Street, Shoreditch, East London.