Emily Rowan

BA Photography
University of West London


Hackney Wick and Fish Island

My Mum used to live in Bow when she was my age and a good friend of mine lives in Hackney. Other than those two facts I know little about both areas. Upon exploring inspiringcity.com and researching this walk, I discovered the walk would take me along the Lea Navigation Waterway, very close to the Olympic Stadium. This whole area is supposedly ‘The New Shoreditch’ and it is easy to see why. A lot of work has been done to the area due to the Olympics but all of the character and street art remains. I like to think I know London fairly well by now but I had never heard of Fish Island, nor had my parents who have both lived in and out of London their entire lives. This little haven is impressive but I’m surprised it has been kept so tucked away.

I’m very happy with this shoot, I feel I have covered a few great areas of interest with this tucked away and inspiring place:

  • Doorways
  • Slogans
  • Politics
  • Street art in peculiar places, out of the ordinary



Question everything but do not become paranoid

I was enamoured by the street art covering the buildings and boats on the canal and it was equally interesting to look at the boats up close. Naturally, the characters living inside the boats appear to be as expressive and colourful as the surrounding artwork. The stickers adorning the boat windows are just what you’d expect from the people of this area.

Sod the Rich’ in a London underground logo next to the Olympic logo - London is all about money and it’s no secret that many of Hackney’s residents were less than happy about the Olympics

'Question Everything but do not become paranoid'. Philosophical, questioning the norm, staying aware.


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Peckham - Dulwich

One one long day in June I decided to walk around some of my yet unexplored areas of East London, embarking on some street art walks I stumbled upon on inspiringcity.com. The first was Peckham to Dulwich and the second Bow Church to Hackney Wick. Both are areas I haven’t spent much time exploring, especially Dulwich, so I was excited to discover a new part of London as well as finding more street art to photograph. 

There wasn’t as much street art on show as I was expecting for a two hour walk but it was interesting all the same. The writer of the blog has provided detailed information about the artworks featured on the walk and I’m finding it interesting to discover and to begin recognising new artists, and to see entirely different artworks adorning the walls at points when I was expecting something else (as is the nature of street art as I’ve discussed before, also the blog post I am referring to was written over a year ago).


I don’t know what it is but there’s definitely something about doors and windows that I’m drawn to. Seeing grand artworks near and in everyday situations, finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, both are ideas I’m really interested in.

The messages here are simple. ‘Give’ and ‘<3’ with a beautiful hummingbird ready to supply that love. 

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Hackney Wick and Fish Island
London, June ‘14

The all world is going bazerk and all you can say is

Shoreditch, London 
June ‘14

Revisiting Brick Lane

It had been a good three months since I’d last photographed Brick Lane, the street art hub of London, so I was eager to go back and see what artwork had been replaced and which were still going. It was kind of heartbreaking to see some of my favourite pieces had disappeared, especially as I didn’t like one of the new artworks at all! But this is the nature of street art, pieces are spontaneous and fleeting, and only remain for a short period of time.

I tried to focus mostly on artworks with little statements and slogans; a small text altering the meaning of an entire image. These little finds are hard to come by, but very rewarding and thought-provoking when found. 


#Selfieless - Help Me Please
This is a very powerful piece of artwork, questioning the selfie culture we are currently experiencing in Western society. Selfies seem to be everywhere, a popular way to express yourself amongst the young. #selfieless plays on the popular social media tag and the term ‘homeless’, implying selfies have become overly important to everyday life, and to not have selfies means you cannot get by in society, and need help.

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