Biodegradable Street Art

Are you too skint to pay for oil paints and canvas but still want to make art? Don't despair. Try our favourite low cost method for getting your creativity out there. It's called Biodegradable Street Art and it involves little more than a box of chalk and (optionally) some fruit. It's Graffiti Art's half assed, cash strapped cousin and it's coming to a high street near you. We interviewed a couple of Biodegradable Street Artists, who preferred to remain anonymous.

TLU: So what does Biodegradable Street Art Involve?

A: Well, really it's a mixture of performance art, drawing and poetry. It's not about getting things perfect, or creating a beautiful picture... it's more about getting out there and putting your ideas on the street spontaneously.

M: It's about going right up to commuters and drawing round them, handing out paper crabs with words like 'Orange' or 'Peas' written on them to young girls on the tube. It's about writing poems on pavements so hundreds of people can read them before it rains.

A: Yeah. Good places to do it are Covent Garden or Soho or the South Bank. Nobody really minds around there. Just go into a shop, buy some chalk, step outside and draw something on the pavement. Then draw something in front of someone. You can build up to full interactions with tourists and commuters.

M: It's a great way to get phone numbers.

A: Once you've broken into a stranger's exclusion zone by drawing around them, you can pull weird faces at them, or do a bit of mime, or just have a chat and give them a flyer. It can be a real buzz. If you do it on the way to a club, you'll find yourself totally opened up by the time you arrive.

TLU: And what about fruit art?

A: Go and buy some fruit take it out to the street in your bag and then think about what you could do with it... People smiling at fruit, say, on London Bridge, in the afternoon. Maybe get thirty or forty people over the course of an afternoon, go up to them and ask if they mind being photographed, with fruit.

M: Yeah, hand them a couple of lemons, get them to hold a melon under their chin and take the shot. Tourists are usually pretty happy to do that.

A: Or you could draw faces on the fruit and start a puppet show...

TLU: How do you come up with your ideas?

A: Spontaneously, freely. By making it up when we have to. By getting out there and using the environment, making the most of opportunities as they arise. That's the way to go. I think there's a whole science to improvisation.

M: Yeah, but it's good to have a few ideas first sometimes too. Like, 'Hey, let's get a load of people together in Trafalgar Square to draw elephants all over the pavement'.

A: That's where flash mobbing can come into it. Why just gather a group of people to dance in stations with headphones on? There's loads of other interesting stuff people can do. Get a hundred people down to the Millenium Bridge with spoons and get them to play rhythms on the railings. Record it, put it out on the internet.

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