Where are the best places to see street art in South East London? There’s a lot, I’ll tell you that. I’ve spent the last seven years living in South East London and have spent hours exploring the area in search of street art. From Crystal Palace and Brockley to Sydenham and Forest Hill, there are so many great areas and pieces of art to choose from. Yes, the street art in Camden is great. As well as street art in Shoreditch. I may be biased, but the street art in South East London definitely tops the table in the street art stakes. So here are, in my opinion, the best places to see street art in South East London.
Street art in Brockley
The Brockley mural is absolutely my favourite piece of street art in Brockley and one of the most prominent. It was painted by Brockley resident Lionel Stanhope. Since my last visit to Brockley, a robin has been added to the mural, which I think is a lovely touch. When I first wrote this blog post, Stanhope’s work could also be found in Lee, Catford, Herne Hill and Hither Green, as well as in a few other locations. But at the time of writing, there are now murals in Lee, South Croydon, Chiselhurst and Crofton Park.
It’s unsurprising that Brockley is home to a large proportion of South East London’s street art pieces. Why? The Brockley Street Art Festival, that’s why! The annual festival adds new murals to shop shutters, house walls and garden fences. Over the years, artists such as The Doodle Man, Koeone, Kastruc, Artmongers and Artista have contributed to the project.
Street art in Crystal Palace
Since moving back to Crystal Palace in 2020, I’ve been on the lookout for street art to add to my list of favourites. First up is Mr Cenz. This piece above was completed as part of the London Mural Festival in 2020. You’ll find it opposite Selhurst Park, the home of Crystal Palace Football Club. Look closely and you’ll even see a tribute to the team’s mascot. This isn’t the only Mr Cenz piece in Crystal Palace. On Anerly Hill (close to Crystal Palace Overground Station) and Westow Street, you’ll find equally striking pieces too.When you’re walking along Church Road it’s hard to miss this huge ampersand. The piece, entitled Again & Again, dominates the entire side of the building. For the best view, turn into Milestone Road and stand on the opposite side of the street. It’s a simple, yet bold design and is the collaborative efforts of Gary Stranger and Pref, both hugely talented in the world of typography. It was organised by Global Street Art, who are the brains behind the London Mural Festival.
Street art in Sydenham Hill Woods
We found this piece by Louis Masai whilst walking around Sydenham Hill Woods one weekend. You’ll find it close to the entrance of the park, underneath the disused railway arches. As with all his work, Masai’s piece focuses on the endangered wildlife, usually found close to where the artwork is located. This particular piece depicts a Brown Long-Eared Bat. Which is said to live within the railway tunnel. I’ve also seen some of his work in Shoreditch, Tower Hamlets and even Taunton.
Street art in Sydenham
Nathan Bowen and Harry Blackmore created this piece in Lower Sydenham. The two artists have been collaborating on space-themed pieces for a while now. Back in 2018, I was lucky enough to meet and see the guys at work. They were covering up one of Bowen’s older, weather-damaged pieces. Located close to Sydenham station, you will also find two small Bowen pieces drawn onto tiles. They’re pretty small so keep your eyes peeled. Their work can be found all over South East London, as well as other locations too. Their style is pretty unique, so they’re fairly easy to spot.
Street art in Forest Hill
Forest Hill was the first of the South East London areas that I called home. It’s home to the fantastic Horniman Museum and Garden’s, which is actually responsible for a number of street art pieces in the area. As part of the museums’ Festival of Brasil, way back in 2016, Forest Hill welcomed a number of Brazilian inspired street art pieces. Located on Dartmouth Road (on the wall by the Job Centre) is this street art depicting the mythological siren, painted by Brazilian artist Derlon Almeida. Another of the four artists who took part in this festival was Milo Tchais. It’s also located on Dartmouth Road just by the entrance to Forest Hill Overground Station. Just lookout for the brightly coloured bird. It’s such a shame that people have tagged over the piece, but with any piece of street art that is the risk of displaying your work in such an accessible and public forum.
Lionel Stanhope, who I mentioned earlier, created Forest Hill’s very own mutual, after a really successful crowdfunding campaign. As with all his work, you’ll find it located under the railway arch. What makes this piece special is the addition of a walrus. Those in the know will recognise it as the Horniman Museums’ resident mascot.
Street art in Honor Oak Park
Honor Oak Park and Brockley blend seamlessly into one another. So it’s no shock that you’ll also find street art in this South East London area. This piece by Dan Kitchener may be a little hard to spot, but once you’ve set eyes on it, you’ll be amazed at the detail. His unique take on cityscapes is awe-inspiring. You’ll find his work in East London’s Brick Lane, as well as pieces in New York and Amsterdam.
Street art in Penge
Penge may seem like an unlikely place for street art, but you’ll be surprised to find over a hundred pieces across both Penge and Anerly. Why? It’s all thanks to LondonCallingBlog‘s SprayExhibition20. You can find work from Skeleton Cardboard, Alice Pasquini and Mr Cenz, along with a whole heap more. On Bycroft Street you’ll find this Indiana Jones inspired piece by JXC.
Louis Masai is one of my favourite street artists, which may be obvious as he’s been featured twice in this post so far. I love the work he does to highlight endangered species and this one is no different. Along Penge Lane, just on the corner from The Alexandra pub, you’ll find this banana. Just like you would find in the shop. And the mad fact is that it’s almost extinct! Accompanying the image is one of Masai’s signature bees, which you’ll spot around other areas of South East London too.
Have you seen any of these South East London street art pieces? If so I’d love to know your favourites. And if you have any recommendations of your own on where to check out some street art in South East London, let me know!
Until next time.