IF YOU’RE brave enough to join the lost boys on the upper deck of a bus, you may have occasionally found yourself looking down on a potato stuffed with cocktail sticks. Over the last year or so, the spudniks, as they have been nicknamed, have been appearing on the roofs of bus shelters in northeast London.
The tiny artworks can enhance a commute down Kingsland Road or along Old Street, make the observer seem almost privileged, because they are visible only from the top deck of a London bus.
They are said to be the work of a man calling himself No Nose. In the style of Banksy and other street artists he is secretive about his identity. A TimeOut reporter printed some quotes from him but added: “Like other notorious (sic) London street artists such as Sweet Toof and Pure Evil, we know very little about him personally”.
A visit to a First Thursday, when NE London galleries and museums open till 9pm, turned up a few clues. A few months ago No Nose walked into one of the spaces, Cultivate, and challenged the owner Sean Worrall (above) about the concept of a gallery exhibiting art.
Worrall told Loving Dalston: “The discussion became pretty full-on. People standing around fell silent as the discussion raged.”
Eventually, the man, who was about 40 and had a Northern Irish accent, stormed out. Asked about a plastic bag he had left, he shouted back: “Do what you like with it!”
Worrall extracted a spudnik and put it on a shelf. No offers have been received, but the potato has sprouted a few shoots.
Loving Dalston believes that No Nose’s name is Tony Brennan. That’s all very well, but it fails to answer the question, how does he get his spudniks safely on to the shelter roofs?
* Cultivate, corner of Vyner Street and Mowlem streets, Hackney E2 9HE (07713 181633), Thurs-Sun, 11.30am-6pm, or by appointment