Street Art Revolution: Exploring Urban Murals Across UK Cities

Street Art Revolution: Exploring Urban Murals Across UK Cities

In the ever-evolving canvas of our urban landscapes, a silent revolution is taking shape, one that converses in strokes of vibrant hues and bold outlines—the Urban Murals Revolution. This uprising is redefining the visage of UK cities, morphing them into sprawling open-air galleries where each wall narrates its saga, and every mural bears a manifesto.

Traversing from the quaint alleyways of Shoreditch to the animated avenues of Manchester, urban murals are doing more than just revamping the visual scenery—they’re provoking thought, igniting discourse, and heralding inclusivity. These creative displays are far from mere defacement and potent symbols of cultural assertion, sociopolitical discourse, and inventive prowess.

Through this exposition, we venture into the UK’s urban heartlands, seeking the transformative essence of street art and the visionaries who craft these metropolitan gems. We immerse ourselves in the communities that serve as the backdrop for this artistic insurrection, understanding how these murals alter our conceptions of communal spaces.

Accompany us as we navigate the intricate maze of the UK’s city thoroughfares, unveiling the narratives immortalized on their towers and lauding the audacious spirits who dare to paint beyond the confines of convention.

Tagging to Street Art: The Evolution of Urban Expression in the UK

The 1960s ́s opened up the grounds for creating and using the spray can in the UK as the creation called Tagging. Through tagging, street artists could mark spaces and locations that were hard to reach and find to impress their fellow artists and friends. Later on, in the 1970s to 1980s, what is considered the street art scene emerged as a trickling effect of the graffiti movements in New York; one of many street artists who blended the lines of tagging and street art is Kix. Kix was a rule breaker; he would tag outside the walls into cars.

A car near Hampstead Heath tagged by Kix (AKA Lee Thompson) and Mr B (AKA Mike Barson), both of whom went on to be members of the band Madness.
Photograph: Roger Perry
Photograph: Roger Perry

From Graffiti to Galleries: The Evolution and Impact of UK Urban Murals

Though graffiti artists would claim spaces and make their mark, the focus of the work was to create tags which assert a place in society. In England, a group that impacted the narrative of street art in the UK called Graffiti Kings, founded in the 1970s by Inkie, was influenced by New York graffiti but reflected the young culture in England. Other groups and street artists, such as punk rock and skinheads, emerged as subcultures. In the 1970s, a new wave of street artists considered “Graffiti was a secret code, the voice of the underdog.” (Book an Artists).

Eventually, by the 2000s, street art was more accepted as a form of art. One of the most renowned names in the street art scene in London is Banksy, who reaches a following and eventually takes his work out of the walls and into the auction house. Banksy brings attention to the concept of tagging and each street artist’s style with contemporary artworks and current cultural climates.

In addition, street art has developed into a culture and community enhancer. In the 2010s, areas in London were known to attract visitors because of their street art presence. One example of an area that developed as a famous spot to seek street artwork is Brick Lane.

Street Art Revolution: Exploring Urban Murals Across UK Cities | Rock & Art

Brick Lane also presents a beautiful lane to street art history and contrasts beautifully with contemporary street art pieces. Multiple other areas within the UK also started supporting the production of commissioned murals and street art as it brought new visitors’ attention. Especially in the modern world, captured images can become a magnet for visitors.

This is seen as different festivals and events to celebrate Street Art start emerging, initially the Cans Festival and the Notting Hill Carnival, then leading to current events such as Beyond the Streets London by Saatchi, London Mural Festival, Urban Art and even a permanent exhibition by Banksy titled The Art of Banksy. There is also an evolution with the street arts and how they are viewed as a form of art that emerged. What is the new concept of a street art gallery? Some examples in London are Graffik Gallery, Pure Evil Gallery, StolenSpace Gallery, The Seven Stars Yard and Well Hung.

The UK’s street art scene is a dynamic hub. The urban landscapes are a canvas for artists to present with their style and message, connecting people from London to Bristol. Their vibrant murals and striking graffiti challenge conventional social conventions, stimulate discussion and enrich the cultural milieu.

From the early days of tagging to the contemporary murals that adorn our city walls, street art in the UK has evolved into a vibrant and dynamic art form that continues to push boundaries and challenge norms.

As we immerse in the labyrinth of city streets, we are not just spectators but participants in this ongoing revolution. Each mural, tag, and piece of street art invites us to engage, question, appreciate, and understand the world around us from a different perspective.

So, we invite you, our readers, to join this revolution. Explore your local neighbourhoods, discover the street art that adorns your city walls, and share your experiences with us. Let’s celebrate the artists who dare to colour outside the lines and the communities that provide the canvas for their creativity. British street art is a powerful vehicle for inspiration and connection.

Remember, every wall tells a story, and every mural makes a statement. What will you discover in your city’s open-air gallery? Share your findings with us using the hashtag #UKStreetArtRevolution on social media. Let’s continue the conversation and keep the revolution alive!

Street Artists in the UK Now

  • DFace
  • Stik
  • Ben Eine
  • Invader
  • Phlegm
  • ROA

Mural, street art, and events to be aware of and go see in London are:

  • UpFest: Street Arts Festival
  • Bring the Paint Festival
  • Inner Worlds
  • nuArt Aberdeen
  • Withington Walls
  • Cheltenham Paint Festival

For more information on upcoming street art events and international street art events, go to:


privatetoursengland. 2023. “The Rise of Street Art in England’s Cities.” Private Tours England. June 23, 2023. England%20has.

London, Dutch Girl in. 2022. “Top 5 Street Art Galleries in London.” Dutch Girl in London. March 6, 2022.

Dawson, Natalie. 2021. “London Street Art and Graffiti through the Decades: 1960 – 2021.” Book an Artist Blog. May 7, 2021.

Petridis, Alexis. 2015. “Spraying the 70s: The Pioneers of British Graffiti.” The Guardian. The Guardian. February 3, 2015.