A tour of Mile End’s hidden street art

There’s nothing like insider, local knowledge, so that’s why we asked local blogger and regular contributor Cecilia Cran, or @mileendmoments to pull together a guide to the best street art in Mile End and Bow for you to enjoy on your summer strolls. 

East London has always had an impressive and important cultural heritage. From the birth of the suffragette movement and the site where the first doodlebug fell to where the idea for the charity Barnardos was first born (and these where just the first ones to come into my head, there are so many more!) we’ve got it all.

Alongside these significant accolades, as a local, I feel so lucky to benefit from an active community of artists and creatives, that have graced the area for many years, from the likes of Sue Kreitzman to film director Danny Boyle. The community is very inclusive and supportive, they like to inspire and encourage emerging artists and young talent, paving the way and cementing a positive future for art in these parts. Already local artists are making their mark on the art world – Eddie Peake, a local Mile Ender held his most recent exhibition at the acclaimed White Cube gallery.

One of the (many) reasons I love Mile End and the surrounding area is the art you see and the fact that it’s everywhere you look, you don’t need to set foot in an art gallery to experience it. Although, we’re furnished with a great selection of them too – The Nunnery Gallery, The Art Pavilion and The Chisenhale Gallery, to name just a few.

Mile End and the surrounds has attracted a host of famous street artists over the years, from Stik, who decorated a local shop front with his inimitable stik men, to Andy Leek, of ‘Notes to Strangers’ fame.

Here, I have pulled together a selection of my favourite local art for you to enjoy.

Photograph of Sylvia Pankhurst mural
Suffragette mural on the side of the Lord Morpeth pub, by Jerome Davenport.
Photograph of telephone box, Mile End
Notes to Strangers, Andy Leek. To the left of as you come out of Mile End tube, on Mile End Road.
Photograph of Notes to Strangers
Another Notes to Strangers, Andy Leek piece, by the Garden Bridge in Mile End.
Photograph of Stik on the shopfront
Stik on the protective metal shopfront, just off Bow Common Lane.
A photo of a mural of the East End, on Aberavon Road.
Mural of the East End, on Aberavon Road.
A photograph of an Amy Winehouse mural
Amy Winehouse, outside a convenience store on Grove Road.
A buoy by the Regents Canal
Friendly buoy by the Regents Canal, on the way up to Hackney Wick.
A Pearly Kings and Queens mural
Pearly Kings and Queens on the side of the Bow Bells pub on Mile End Road, artist @pang_london.
East End heroes and villains
A mural of East End heroes and villains, on Mile End Road, by artist Mychael Barratt
A metal flower on Eden street
Metal flower sculpture on Eden Street.
Doris the elephant in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
‘Doris’ the elephant, a sculpture made from a scrapped garage door, she lives in Tower Hamlets cemetery. Artist is Rodrigo Riera.

If you like this, you might like Cecilia’s piece on the best things to do in Mile End. 

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