During September 2019 Arkade Graphics organised a collective of local graffiti artists to regenerate an aging mural that covered the double underpass running between the Milton Keynes estates of Tinkers Bridge and Simpson. On a historical level the event holds great significance as it marks the first, and only time to date that four of the cities pioneering first generation of graffiti artists (Urbanist, James Jessop, Chase One and Rolek One) have collaborated on a joint piece of artwork.
All the above artists established themselves as writers in the 1980s and completed the entire first section of the underpass together with organiser Arkade and some assistance from Mega. Photos of the artwork have recently featured in Hip Hop Culture exhibitions organised by Break to the beat at The Open University and MK Gallery. The below collection of images show the mural in completed sections by each of the artists.
“Urbanist” by Urbanist – Tinkers Bridge, Milton Keynes, 2019. Continue reading
Urbanist is one of a handful of local pioneering graffiti artists that painted in Milton Keynes during the 1980s. Urbanist discovered Hip Hop culture in the early part of the 80s and was influenced by films such as Beat Street, books Subway Art, Spray can art and early Hip Hop music by artists such as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. By the late 1980s Urbanist had begun to experiment using spray paint and had several murals on display throughout Milton Keynes.
“Urbo 50” by Femez, Vapor, Pie, Arkade “Character” by Urbanist – Buzy, MK, 2021.
In 1989 Urbanist relocated to London and attended Southbank University where he studied a HND in Business and Finance. After graduating Urbanist applied his skills in art and business and used his creative talents to work on carnival costumes and backdrops for a Continue reading
Breaktothebeat recently caught up with the Urbanist to discuss and document his Hip Hop roots in Graffiti art while living in Milton Keynes during the 1980s. We have also aimed to show and document how the Hip Hop culture influenced the Urbanist, how his artwork evolved from using spray paint, to the creation of carnival costumes, using an airbrush, and working as a make up artist for numerous celebrity’s at the MTV European Music Awards. The following interview aims to capture the Urbanist’s story and highlight the positive aspects of local Hip Hop and street culture.
You were part of the Hip Hop scene in Milton Keynes during the early period and by the end of the 1980s you had become a participant in the culture. Firstly, could you tell us if you were born in MK or did you move here from another area?
I moved to Netherfield, Milton Keynes from Brixton South London, in 1977 when I was 6yrs old. Continue reading