It was a freezing and windy morning in March and my sister and I had a mission. We were having a colourful breakfast in one of the most fun places in Brick Lane, Cereal Killers! I know it sounds silly and we could’ve had a cup of cereal in the comfort of my home for half of the price. But we couldn’t resist the temptation of jumping back to the nineties and feeling like two kids again! Cereals boxes everywhere and decorations recalling the commercials, toys and music we grew up with in a time where adulthood responsibilities were meaningless words. We really enjoyed that short break!
It was my sister’s first walk onto the streets of Brick Lane. I wanted her to feel the heartbeat of East London and see what an urban area looks like. I wanted her to see a different way of living in the city is possible. That graffiti art is cool and makes people’s everyday life better, in different ways. We come from a town where it’s very rare to see art in the streets; graffiti is perceived as something to erase and to punish. How boring is that?
We were taking pictures at every corner like proper tourists, from the smallest David Bowie portrait to that massive mural we couldn’t even fit into one frame. And then we saw that door, a beautiful golden door. We had to stop and admire it. It kind of hypnotised us, the drawing on it was so powerful and it made me think, a lot. Once again, that morning I felt like I was 10 again. At that time, the threat of a war just made me want to see PEACE in the world. Remembering that feeling was shocking, I was that kid represented on the golden door, painting that red heart shape peace symbol.
I shared this picture on my Instagram @queensofhackney and tagged the artist, Unify @unifyartist, thinking that ideally everyone should have a door like this one, don’t you think? #inspirationoftheday.
On top of giving you the most brilliant ideas ever to make this world a better place 🙂 I also interviewed Unify for you! Am I your favourite blogger ever or not? Yessssss!
I’m very excited to introduce you to Unify’s world and share with you his words and art. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!
What exactly pushes you to go onto the streets and share your thoughts with street art? We all know that graffiti is not always a legal activity and it’s risky too.
If we all spent a little time in putting a statement or a piece of art on the streets for others to enjoy you’d see a very different type of environment but of course because there’s often the risk of being caught it stops many from doing it. For me saying just something that others can engage with or make statements about or question means I have done what I set out to do, I created a conversation piece and hopefully thought provoking enough to make changes.
So far, what’s your biggest achievement you’ve obtained through your art?
My biggest achievement so far is people enjoying my work, I don’t have a goal to be anything but happy and engage with the viewer so this way I have no pressures when creating my work.
I am looking for new doors in Shoreditch and Hackney ideally on the High Streets where my work can be seen more often. People can contact me on Instagram @unifyartist but it must be the owners of the doors so I can ensure that the work stays for longer, I have art wars before and found that after spending so much time putting it up the owners got another artist to cover it.
If my art inspires just one more artist to create something new and put it on the streets or change the mind of someone that may not have thought about a subject I have touched on in the way I have brought it to light before then I have achieved what I set out to do. Of course all artists need to sell their work to survive but the public are your audience and if they do not get your work then there’s little or no point in doing it. The best advice I was ever given was: keep it simple, say it with belief and strive to create your art better and better so that it takes very little time to get the point your are putting across.
I really like the message of your graffiti in Brick Lane. I think it’s really powerful and I also love the colours you chose. Is there a reason why you painted the door in gold?
Thank you. I love doing this door it’s one of my favourite spots in London, and the owner of the flat loves me changing the art which I do every few months. It was always a gold door so I just clean it and respray it to keep it as it always was just with my art on it.
You frequently represent kids in your art, what’s the purpose of this?
Kids are seen as innocent bystanders to much of what goes on in the world and using them to make a statement such as the ‘Love CND sign’ is often a more powerful way to get what you are saying across. The innocence versus a strong statement I think works well and makes people second look at what’s going on.
You’re spreading your art not only in London right? Where else can we find your graffiti?
My art is in the UK in various towns and cities and Spain at present but I have plans to be in other cities around the world soon.
Also, can a city or a neighbourhood inspire your art/work?
It’s more about the country’s political stance or something locally that will resonate with me that inspires me to create a new piece of work. At the moment with so much fear of immigration and of being caught up in terror groups making their statements I feel that it’s time for promoting a more peaceful way forward.
So, you lucky owners of doors in Hackney, don’t miss the opportunity to offer your door/wall to this amazing artist and spread some love and meaningful messages out there! I know you can be the best followers ever! Btw I wish I owned a door 🙂
A very special THANK YOU goes to Unify! Thank you for your contribution to my blog and for adding meaning to our streets. Looking forward to your next art! xx g