Street artist transforms Stratford cafe wall
PUBLISHED: 12:45 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:53 23 March 2017
Visitors to a cafe would be forgiven for thinking they were entering another world after the completion of a piece of futuristic street art.
The Bow Cafe in Stratford has been transformed by a Bladerunner inspired artwork which covers a 75 feet by 35 feet brick wall.
Street artist and illustrator Dan Kitchener, who used spray paints to create the scene of a future port city, said: “I’m really, really happy with it.
“It’s been a long process. There’s an adrenalin rush when doing it, but afterwards there’s a strange calm.”
Dan worked up to 10 hours non-stop over three days to create the piece - named Sky City - using a cherry picker to reach the top of the Ferns Road cafe opposite Stratford fire station.
“It’s been great. People came down from the tower block nearby and said they loved it.
“It’s exactly how I wanted it,” added Dan, whose talent has taken him around the world and led to work on concert animations for Miley Cyrus, Calvin Harris and Lenny Kravitz.
Featuring Japanese dancer and acrobat Ayumi Lanoire, Dan, 42, began by sketching his design onto the resurfaced wall.
“I do a digital design first, but it often changes when I get to the wall. Painting with spray paint gives you that flexibility. It all came together really quickly,” he said.
But it took six-months before Dan could start with a suitable location and permission from Newham Council to get first.
“There was a lot of hard work that went into it,” said Vik Taak from Newham Council, who masterminded the project after being inspired by public art in Brick Lane and Shoreditch.
“I liked the vibe and wanted to bring it to Newham,” said Vik, who raised the money for the Ferns Road project himself, getting donations from companies including Tando, Travis Perkins, FineFair, A1 Drains and Fenton M Ltd.
“I would love it if I can make people smile when they walk past. We’re turning heads in a positive way,” he said.
A photographer himself, Plaistow-born Vik’s next project is to create a space for home grown artists to express themselves.
“I’ve not forgotten about our home-grown talent. In due course I hope to have a venue where people will be able to express themselves,” he said.
Although there are two further projects in the pipeline, the 39-year-old project officer is keeping his plans under wraps.
“Watch this space,” he said.