Urban artist Stik has created his biggest mural yet on the Acton estate in Haggerston, after being commissioned by local residents.
The 14-metre high stick figure, was painted on the side of Livermere Court, Scriven Street, on December 1. It is the latest of his large-scale stick figures, which began appearing on the streets of Hackney five years ago.
Residents asked Stik to create artwork for their estate upon returning from his worldwide travels over the past few months. After working with communities from the Bronx to Berlin to the hills of Amaan in the Middle East, he deemed this project a “homecoming”.
He said it was “a chance to re-engage with my own neighbourhood. I was extremely flattered and wanted to create something meaningful for them that would also stand the test of time.
“They wanted something to mark the brief meetings between the temporary tenants and the residents who had been there since the flats were built in the 1970s, all of whom felt a longing to connect with their community.
“The recent construction of Haggerston train station nearby has brought flocks of commuters through the estate. This has added to the feeling of passing but has somehow breathed new life into the community.
“I wanted to somehow show people that this is a thoroughfare but also that people live here. My final piece is a giant figure striding through the estate who momentarily notices somebody as it passes though.”
Stik, whose real name remains secret, was homeless for a period until two years ago. Struggling to make ends meet, he used his unusual creations to turn his life around. He recently discussed his experience of living on the street with Sabotage Times:
“Being homeless is one of the most debilitating things that can happen to an individual. All the support systems rely on you having a home. The issue is why is it so difficult to stay housed? Why is it so expensive to rent?
“I think you’re never two steps away from homelessness. Shit can go wrong really quickly, no matter who you are. There are no homeless people – just people who have lost their home temporarily and are struggling to get it back. It could happen to you very easily.”
Despite his lack of formal training, Stik’s pieces can sell for thousands of pounds and he counts stars such as Elton John, Bono and Tinie Tempah as fans. Last year he was asked to provide artwork for music magazine Q’s awards ceremony.
Earlier this year the artist had his first London exhibition at Imitate Modern in Marylebone whilst still living in a St Mungo’s hostel.