Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Tagged! Blue Badge Guide By Day, Street Artist By Night!

A new career beckons for LW's Karen Pierce-Goulding…

At last. I’m cool.

Six-Year-Old Daughter: “What did you do today, mummy?”

Me: “I did a spot of street art with cans of spray paint.”

This job takes me to unexpected places: yesterday it was the West Bank Gallery in Notting Hill where I met up with Gab who had the unenviable task of turning a Blue Badge Guide from sleepy North London into a street artist.

His task was made harder, no doubt, by my blundering attempts at street lingo. To me, “The Hood” is the thing on my daughter’s coat that she will refuse to put up even if it’s raining. My insistence on trying to apply the term “hood” in a “street” context was the subject of much mirth.

We spent the first hour or so indoors sketching. Here are my efforts – my tag is KPG…

It was a real eye opening experience – the detail, the technical finesse; it was a surprise to find just how difficult it was. When we were done (and when the guys had stopped laughing at my street lingo) we took it outdoors.

The gallery has an exterior space where you can let your creativity run wild. We hopped over the wall (well, Gab did: I used the gate) and, thanks to Gab’s great tuition; I was suddenly a street artist in my own right. Here’s my effort…

(Note to London Walks’ Street Art expert Pepe: Hey Pepe! If you’re reading this, can I be IN your Street Art Walk, please?)

“What did you do today, mummy?”

“I did a spot of street art with cans of spray paint.”


Karen was filming an episode of Next Stop London for The Discovery Channel Canada.

The West Bank Gallery’s website is here: and you can book your own workshop for £49 for a two-hour session.

A London Walk costs £9 – £7 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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