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Coronavirus street art: May 2020

By Paul Slade
Secret London
Murder Ballads

I took all the photographs in the collage below within a half hourís walk of my NE London home just as the city was emerging from its initial period of coronavirus lockdown. They were all taken during my permitted hour of daily exercise, strolling round Hoxton, Shoreditch or Islington early enough in the morning for there to be very few other people about.
I donít make any great claims for the photographs themselves, but I think the street art and other ephemera this extraordinary periodís produced is worth documenting and I wanted to make some small contribution to that.
In one or two cases, the works shown werenít originally produced to address coronavirus at all, but are now impossible to read any other way. The ďPanicky in the UKĒ poster, for example, was initially made to promote an April art show, and the birdís head is there simply because it happened to remind me of a 17th century doctorís plague mask. Some may think including images like this is cheating, but Iím OK with it.
For more coronavirus street art, from around the world, see The Guardianís excellent photo collections here, here and here. You can also enlarge my poster below to examine its constituent images in all their glorious detail.


A few days after posting the above image, I stumbled across the vox pop poster below (which you can also enlarge). This is just one of many similar posters covered in reactions of their own, which you can find with an image search online. Whoís behind them and what their purpose is, I have no idea Ė but I can tell you that Pythia was the priestess at Delphi who delivered cryptic messages from the gods in ancient Greece.