Street art comes indoors, at Acton’s Poet’s Corner

Image above: Jewel Goodby, co-founder and curator of Acton Unframed and owner of JG Contemporary Gallery

Meet the street artists who have transitioned to creators of art you can take home

A huge exhibition of street art has just opened at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea – huge in the sense that it is supposedly the largest collection of graffiti and street art ever brought together for an exhibition in the UK, with over 100 international artists taking part, and huge in the sense that some of the individual pieces take up a whole wall, as the artist intended they should.

Some of those artists whose work is on display also make art on a smaller scale, which they show at a small gallery in Acton, JG Contemporary, in ‘Poet’s Corner’. Jewel Goodby, the gallery owner, is throwing open the doors on the last Thursday of every month for those interested in the work to come and meet them.

Image above: ‘Shisöka’ mural by Fin DAC on the corner of Mrytle Rd and Churchfield Rd, Acton

Raising money for large scale murals

Jewel is responsible for the mural opposite the gallery, ‘Shisöka’ by Fin DAC, on the corner of Mrytle Rd and Churchfield Rd, and also for the Jamal Edwards portrait by Matt Small at Everyone Active on Acton High Street, and ‘Relativity’ by Remi Rough on Goldsmith Avenue.

She is herself a motion graphics and visual effects artist who has worked in LA and Las Vegas. She came to London to be with her husband James in 2008, just as the recession hit. Unable to find work in her specialist field, she turned her hand to screen printing and through that she began to meet street artists wanting to make the transition to creating artwork they could sell.

Jewel established the grass roots urban arts project, ‘Acton Unframed’ with her husband, Kal Di Paola and several street artists in 2019, raising £54K through crowd funding, with strong support from the local community and contributions from local businesses, Acton BID, Ealing Council, the Acton Central Ward Forum and The Mayor of London.

The project, starting with five large scale murals, aims to attract visitors to the area, to engage the community and inspire commercial and social change in the neighbourhood. Jewel is the curator.

Image above: ‘Shisöka’ mural by Fin DAC on the corner of Mrytle Rd and Churchfield Rd, Acton


It was something of a coup to persuade Fin DAC to create the Myrtle Rd mural. Known for his depictions of Eurasian women, he has collaborated with brands such as Armani, G-Star and Red Bull, and has painted for the Royal Albert Hall and the 2012 Olympic Games in London, exhibiting his work in galleries all over the world.

While they were working on ‘Shisöka’ she noticed a property opposite was being refurbished for sale and decided to make it a gallery.

“I fell in love with this community at Poet’s Corner and fell in love with this site so we decided to move our family here”. They have two children at a local primary school.

Image above: JG Contemporary Gallery, 45 Churchfield Rd, Acton

Fin also painted the image above the gallery, which opened in December 2019, just before Covid struck. It is only now getting going properly after the hiatus of the pandemic.

Among those who will be there on Thursday (23 February) will be Matt Small, Remi Rough, Tim Bret-Day and Henry Woolway.

Image above: This Is England exhibition of England footballers by Matt Small, Guildhall Gallery, City of London

Matt Small

Matt Small’s work has recently adorned Stormzy’s dressing room at the Brit awards and he has just had an exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery in the City of London of his portraits of England footballers, painted on metal. This is England featured 27 portraits of the full England football squad and manager of the EURO 2020 team, the most successful national men’s team since the World Cup winners of 1966.

“Through their resolute and determined stance on various social issues and matters of inclusion and compassion for all, this group of players have come to represent the modern face of England, a multi-cultural land where people from all walks of life now call the country home” said Matt Small.

Images above: Portrait of a women, on metal; Portrait of Jamal Edwards MBE

When he created the mural of Jamal Edwards he said:

“It is so important to show our young people that there are individuals out there, that have come from similar backgrounds to themselves that are pursuing their goals and achieving great things in a positive, constructive way.”

Jamal Edwards died suddenly and unexpectedly a year ago, at the age of 31. The British entrepreneur and YouTube star was a key figure in British rap and grime music. He launched SBTV, an online urban music platform which helped kickstart the careers of artists like Dave, Ed Sheeran and Skepta.

READ ALSO: Tributes flow after death of ‘local legend’ Jamal Edwards

“As soon as you take notice of them, they are seen”

Watch the video to hear how Matt Small tries to give people who are excluded and don’t have a voice, representation in his paintings. “As soon as you take notice of them, they are seen.”

Matt Small Instagram: Matt Small.

Image above: Relativity; Remi Rough

Remi Rough

Remi Rough is the author of another of Acton Unframed’s gable end murals. You will find ‘Relativity’ at Goldsmith House, Acton W3.

An abstract painter from south London with a background in graffiti art, he has been making bold statements on urban walls since 1984. His work has been exhibited in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Paris, Perth (Australia), and Tokyo as well as in London.

In 2008, he spoke at Tate Modern in association with an exhibition on Street Art; in 2009 his book Lost Colours and Alibis was published; in 2021 he had a piece exhibited at the Royal Academy in the Summer Exhibition.

Remi Rough Instagram: Remi Rough

Image above: The Season of the Witch, Tim Bret-Day for Agent Provocateur

Tim Bret-Day

Unusually among Jewel’s stable of artists, Tim Bret-Day is a photographer. Initially commissioned by fashion magazines and record companies, he moved to producing editorial work which expressed his own thoughts and vision in the late 1990s.

Commissions include those from David Bowie, Harvey Nichols, and Agent Provocateur, usually requiring a big cast, such as in the picture above, The Season of the Witch, for Agent Provocateur, an homage to Hogarth’s Rake’s Progress.

Tim Bret-Day Instagram: Tim Bret-Day

Images above: You Are Always Looking Up; Always yours, Forever more; Henry Woolway

Henry Woolway

Henry Woolway’s work has been exhibited recently at the London Art Fair and featured in Le Mille and House & Gardens magazines. Working in black and white, visually taking aesthetics from Scandinavian and European design and culture as well as Early mid-century modern design, he makes a range of paintings, wall hangings, sculptural and works on paper.

Henry Woolway Instagram: Henry Woolway

Images above: (L) Pink Moon by Jake Andrew; (C) B-boy sketch on paper by Carlos Mare; (R) South west facing by Tim Fowler – other artists whose work in on show at the JG Contemporary gallery.

Among the other artists whose work is on show at the gallery are Jake Andrew, Carlos Mare and Tim Fowler. Carlos is one of the artists whose work is also on show at the Saatchi Gallery Beyond the Streets exhibition.

Jewel is opening the gallery on Thursday 23 February to have a drink, meet the artists and enjoy the work from 7.30pm.

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