6 July 2012


Mostly, I despise graffiti in public places and have often scoffed at the suggestion that it's a form of Art. Mostly, its quality is rubbish and it degrades urban environments. Mostly, it's done by spotty teenage boys who don't fit in - social pariahs - boys who have no artistic flair whatsoever.

Nonetheless, occasionally I see graffiti of which I approve. I rather like graffiti that has a point to make - using it as a form of protest. And sometimes I like graffiti that beautifies or adds interest to urban sites that would otherwise be neglected eyesores.

Based in Sheffield but with "works" in other parts of the country there is a clandestine graffiti artist who goes by the pseudonym "Phlegm". His work is distinctive - in shades of black and white and the themes are often fabulous with recurring images of ships and squids for example. You can link to his showcasing website here.

Yesterday, between rain showers, I nipped out to the vast Meadowhall shopping mall on the northern outskirts of Sheffield but before reaching that retail palace, I remembered to park up close to "The Riverside" public house in order to take a picture of this "work" by Phlegm:-
"The harnessing of the giant squids" - left click to enlarge
It's one in a series called "The harnessing of the giant squids" and it was completed in the spring of 2011. Though you can't see it in the photograph, that wall beneath the pub overlooks the River Don which is just one of the fast-flowing Pennine rivers that literally turned the wheels of Sheffield's steel industry as the eighteenth century gave way to the nineteenth. It was once a dirty, industrial sewer but today the trout have returned and regulations and new industrial processes mean the river is cleaner than it has been in donkey's years.


  1. Speechless.... you're actually openly accepting of graffiti now?

    They look like lovely pieces though to be honest.... thanks for sharing them..... he looks like he might be a frustrated tattoo artist!

    Perhaps next time I mention Banksy you might not immediately reach for the shotgun?

  2. ARCTIC FOX Not sure what you're going on about old chum. You must have mixed me up with somebody else. You need a nice couple of pints of best Tetley's to soothe your troubled soul... "Join 'em!"

  3. Seems like a worthy successor to Banksy. :)

  4. Well he certainly has talent and improves the blank walls. We ( not me personally but those who are in charge !) have found that painting murals on the blank walls along our highways stops graffiti "artists" from writing all over them. It is amazing how they seem to respect the work of others and not write all over it.

  5. Fantastic stuff! I'd like to take a look once I've got my jabs up to date to risk a trip to Yorkshire.

    Especially to see the work by the R. Don, the river that always brought sniggers from the back of my geography class at school.

  6. Heeeelp! I've been away for a week and madly busy for a week or so before that - - and it's one o'clock in the morning - - so this is just to let you know that I'll be catching up on your blog tomorrow, I haven't disappeared into the ether or stopped reading it!


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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