Shoreditch Fringe Festival Review: The King’s Land

Just off the Kingsland Road in Haggerston is the Kingsland Estate. At first sight you see boarded up windows, overgrown weed infested lawns, rotting paint peeling doors; a semi derelict, broken down urban wasteland. But on closer inspection something peaks through the dull and neglected landscape, a shot of colour and odd looking creatures emerge through the haze of grey and decay. The exterior walls of the towering depopulated flats are adorned with illustrations by Egyptian artist Nazir Tanbouli, the project contradictorily named The King’s Land.

The area is to undergo large scale regeneration and the estate is soon to be demolished, however there are still tenants living there awaiting rehousing. Tanbouli who lives nearby and works on the estate at Studio 75 created the hand painted murals, featuring strange, surreal characters in an effort to transform the dreary and depressing estate into a vibrant art space for remaining tenants. The bright colours and bold lines of the drawings contrast heavily against the grubby brickwork, and around every corner a new mural is revealed.

The King’s Land is an impressive large scale, hand painted art project and a thoughtful concept to brighten up the outlook of the last few residents. Definitely worth a trip to Haggerston.

Words and images by Kayleigh Rawlings