Thierry Noir, one of the world’s most recognisable street artists, teamed up with London based children’s charity The Kids Network throughout August to raise awareness and funds for vulnerable children in Hackney through collaborative murals and a fundraising exhibition at Protein Studios.
For the whole of August Noir painted murals around the street art hotspots of Shoreditch, Dalston and Hackney Wick with assistance from The Kids Network and local Hackney 8-11 year olds. The children were mentored by Noir and for the entire August becoming real life street artists painting alongside the legendary Berlin artist in the streets of East London.
The project culminated on the 22nd of August with The Thierry Noir Academy of Art Summer Exhibition in collaboration with Protein Studios. This exhibition featured over 1,000 original Thierry Noir works of art brought from Berlin by Flight Logistics with proceeds in support of The Kids Network.
Having illegally painted over 5 miles of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War, in the process becoming one of the pioneers of the international street art movement, Noir knows a thing or two about street art. Since the 1980s Noir’s colourful motifs, bold lines and timeless visual language have become a symbol of youth culture globally making him a perfect mentor.
The Thierry Noir Academy of Art inspired a new generation in Hackney by providing new experiences and opportunities, the core mission of The Kids Network.
Hackney is becoming an increasingly hard place for children to grow up in. The colourful street art has heralded gentrification and influx of new wealth to the district which has resulted in rising social inequality and the erosion of previously established communities.
Thierry Noir was born in 1958 in Lyon, France, and came to Berlin in January 1982. In April 1984, Noir began to paint the Berlin Wall and is credited as being the first artist to do so. Noir’s objective was to perform one real revolutionary act: To paint the Berlin wall, to transform it, to make it ridiculous, and to help destroy it prempting its ultimate fall in 1989. Noir covered the Berlin Wall, more than 3 metres high, with bright, vivid colours, aiming not to embellish the wall but to demystify it. Noir’s iconic, bright and seemingly innocent works painted on this deadly border symbolised a sole act of defiance and a lone voice of freedom.