Shameful spate of attacks on Brighton Street Artists murals

Talentless taggers have vandalised much-admired murals over recent months by daubing their scribbles and throw-ups on commissioned Brighton Street Art.

A legally commissioned mural In Trafalgar Lane by Glimmer Twin, was delivered a jaw dropping insult when a pigs head and the word vermin was added to it, along with the promotion of an 11/08/2023 Street Art exhibition at London Gallery Camden Open Art Gallery (COAG). 

Trafalgar Place renowned Glimmer Twins commissioned Street Art, vandalised by someone promoting a London Based exhibition at Camden Art Open Gallery (COAG)
11/08/2023 ‘art event’ Ad-diction
The same culprit destroyed a Brighton events’ poster campaign to promote the London-based open art event. Why?

BRAT contacted the COAG Gallery owner who swiftly and apologetically responded. The Gallery did not sanction the damage nor was the culprit known to them said Gallery director Finn Brewster Doherty, we would never condone such action.

The Gallery offered to re-commission Sean Lyons, Glimmer Twin to repair the damaged work. Final resolution is left between the two parties to conclude.  

In Brighton, we are sadly used to petty, talentless taggers daubing their pointless scribbles on any clean wall, street furniture, hoardings, retail outlets and office buildings awaiting new tenants.  

We are not used to established street artist’s commissioned works being jealously attacked by taggers 

Sean Lyons said “Our work rarely gets touched, it’s upsetting if it does and would likely be an adolescent tagger not understanding the unspoken respect code between talented street artists”

Sussex Homeless Support Charity trailer mural vandalised 

August 9th, 2023 saw a senseless criminal attack on the Postman Art mural that adorns the entire side of the Homeless Support Custom Trailer

Jim Deans the Charity CEO is furious. He stated on the organisation’s Facebook page “It’s straightforward criminal damage, it’s going to cost the charity to remove it or have it replaced.”

Postman’s Art is renowned throughout the City, why on earth a talentless tagger would destroy such a renowned artist’s work let alone an artwork on a Homeless Charity support vehicle? 

There are no words, although I am sure Jim Dean has a few. If the culprit is identified, he will be made to clean it off or pay for the damage.

St. Ann’s Street, Costa Coffee new murals hit twice since completed three months ago

Guy Favela’s newly completed mural on St.Ann’s Street on the sidewall of Costa Coffee, London Road was hit by publically hated tagger, Johnny Crew just two days after completion – his crew tag across the mouth of the mural was rapidly scrubbed out again by the artist. 

Months later another vandal has been causing havoc with his F tag hitting Guy Favela’s mural, Churches, and homes causing £000’s of damage.

Pretty Community Art Wall on Upper Lewes Road curated by Brighton Street Artists, senselessly tagged

Young adult taggers damage children’s Community Wall, Upper Lewes Road

This mural on Upper Lewes Road was curated for the Council with some of Brighton’s best street artists.  It’s not the first time it has been damaged by pointless vandals. 

The first time a member of the public caught the culprit in action and filmed him. A man in his late 40s with spray cans in his rucksack wilfully destroying other artists’ work, one can only assume in a fit of envy.  

Quite why this bunch stooped so low as to ruin established Street Artists’ community mural for children is unfathomable.

Why do taggers who have no or little artistic talent themselves cause destruction to a talented artist’s work?

Perhaps they are bored youngsters playing up for the sake of it or to be part of a Brighton culture or misguided in their belief that they will become known for their scribbled tagger name? 

Sadly, tagging is not just a past time of bored youngsters, as evidenced by the 45-year-old Crew who is disliked by both taggers and non-taggers and other video evidence that has shown 50 year olds who have not out-grown vandalising property with their scribbles. 

The former respect among taggers was never to spoil others’ work. Currently, that code of honour seems to have fallen by the wayside. 

Brighton and Hove is suffering an unprecedented wave of graffiti vandalism, but residents are fighting back.

by Julia Basnett

Resident and business groups have recently emerged to both support and wake-up the Council into identifying taggers and take stronger action against vandals by issuing fines and banning them from the City, where feasible. These groups include BRAT ‘Business and Residents Against Tagging’ (see – and this article). Another is Graffiti Go

Community Action 

I offer part-time support to Russell Martin Foundation (RMF) youth project called Extra Time based at Trinity Hall, Carlton Hill and as a gardener for White Street Community Garden (WSCG) I have run planting out sessions with young people tending a patch in the community garden. 

The WSCG is on Edward Street and faces Kebbell Lodge on the opposite side. We became aware that Lodge residents were blighted by tagging on an overlooking wall as well as disturbed by persons gathering in the secluded space next to the tagged wall. 

Lodge Resident pensioner Wendy Pearson, was regularly kept awake by late night disturbances outside her ground floor flat. She said ‘the heavily tagged wall was so depressing but made even worse by a communal bin that enabled anti-social people to congregate unseen”.

We decided to take positive community action. 

On May 25th, in collaboration with Kebble Lodge tenants; the Russell Martin Foundation (RMF) and the White Street Community Garden (WSCG); Adrian Hart and myself along with a team of young people painted over the tagging. 

The council’s Environmental Enforcement team supported the initiative by supplying paint, brushes and rollers. 

Adrian Hart is a founder of the garden and a member of BRAT. 

Young people from the Russell Martin Foundation Extra Time programme prepare to paint over tagging

Additionally, members of WSCG then fitted a trellis onto the wall, donated by B & Q. 

We plan to take further action to grow plants up the trellis to improve the aesthetics of the entrance to Kebble Lodge for all residents and passers-by and to deter tagging vandalism.

RMF Youngsters hard at work painting over the ugly tags showing great community spirit.

This is just one example of how a community can pull together to take positive action and improve lives, the environment and residents well being. 

Working with members of BRAT and other organisations, residents and businesses can use creativity and positive actions to help clean up our city. And hopefully our paid Enforcement Officers and police officers will focus attention on enforcing the law and vastly reducing the systematic vandalism of our city.