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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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March 01 2020
Front cover: Deconstruction on Hackney Road, London, 2015. © Stik Front cover: Deconstruction on Hackney Road, London, 2015. © Stik

What do you think of the Pavement’s stunning cover by Stik? Stik, who spent several years homeless in Hackney, explains how street art helped him move on

Q: How did you start? “In the early 2000s I started painting the streets of Hackney. I used the half-tins of white house paint left in the street by property developers, and black pound-shop car spray for the lines. It was the quickest way to paint the human form in the street without getting caught. It became my style.”

Q: Were you able to do art when you were homeless? “I always managed to stay in derelict buildings, squats or on people’s floors but I didn’t have a safe place to keep my drawings or a camera. All of my early artworks were lost when I got moved from place to place. At least when I made paintings on the street they got seen before they were destroyed.” 

Q: Tell us about the cover? “This is a painting of a person being slowly deconstructed on a half-demolished wall. The figure represents our neighbourhood being taken to pieces and sold off, and what that might feel like from the perspective of the wall itself.”

Front cover:
Deconstruction on Hackney Road, London, 2015. © Stik

Q: How do you work? “I got lots of help from people and still do, I couldn’t do this on my own. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. Many of my friends from that period when I was homeless didn’t make it. That’s why I say that this is not a success story, it is a progress report.”