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Vaux | Pavement art | 2004

Pavement art outside St Peter's Kennington Lane by Jonathan Rabagliati.

From an article in a-n magazine:

Jonathan Rabagliati's 'Notes to Myself [Footnotes to the City]' is a series of four pavement pieces that Rabagliati has made around London. If you head up Cork Street you may chance upon the word 'hope' drilled into the pavement. Half way along Brick Lane you might have encountered the word 'seek'. If you walk up Wharf Road past the drive-through McDonalds you might find 'love'. You could run over 'pray' while trying to catch the number 19 bus at Battersea Bridge Road. [Jon didn't mention 'vaux' in Kennington Lane!]

These four letter words, which offer more uplifting messages to London's public than other graffiti texts, are not chance appearances; the artist chose each site carefully. Rabagliati has used the language of the street - the knobbly paving slabs that signal a pedestrian crossing - to develop a dot matrix font specifically for this piece. [But note the 'candle font' here!]

This work involves a carefully orchestrated process. Rabagliati removes the original pavement stone and replaces it with a temporary one. In the workshop he drills each letter into the slab, and then returns to the street to relay it in its original position. The process involves meticulous attention to detail but is at the same time liberating for the artist. Rather than asking permission to make these public works, Rabagliati just goes ahead and does it. He dons the clothes of the streetworker, luminous jacket and boots, in order to become part of the street. He notes, "No-one questions me: a policeman passes by; a street cleaner sweeps past."

August 2021 photo - astonishingly it's still there. The 'u' has been removed and replaced in the wrong orientation at some point, by someone who did not read the word!

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