It’s 10 years since one of the UK’s most acclaimed and original street artists Ben Eine first painted letters on a 21m long wall in Old Street with the simple message CHANGE in association with anti-knife crime charity the Flavasum Trust in memory of Tom-Louis Easton and other victims of knife crime. Over the past decade, the words on the wall, written in Eine’s instantly recognisable signature font have changed – cryptic one word messages linked to knife crime and the good work the Trust does – CREATE, WORTH MORE and ENGAGING were to follow. This week however, as further grim statistics surface in the media, Ben Eine unveils a huge new which shouts the message loud and clear for all passing by to see – STOP KNIFE CRIME.
Ben Eine says “The situation with knife crime is just getting worse and worse and people have had enough. More has to be done to prevent it. This has to stop.”
Following the unprovoked fatal stabbing in 2006 of 22 year-old youth worker and musician Tom-Louis Easton, nearly next to the Old Street wall, Tom’s mother Dolores Altaras and his family founded the Tom Easton Flavasum Trust in 2007 to try reduce the number of young people carrying knives and steer them away from knife crime by supporting projects that use the arts. With no commission fee, Eine agreed to paint a strong message on the 70 by 8 foot wall for the Flavasum Trust, which he has continued to repaint for a decade.
Five fatal stabbings in six days in London this month, knife crime figures reach a seven year high and now in the aftermath of what has been called a ‘summer stabbing spree’ by press, stabbings in the city are reported on a nearly daily basis as the epidemic spreads all over London and out to the home counties; the growing situation is both horrifying and shocking. Ben Eine hopes his striking, new piece of street art will create further awareness about knife crime, and his art relate younger generations, especially in the capital, in the most powerful way he knows, the writing on the wall – STOP KNIFE CRIME.