It’s 10 years since one of the UK’s most acclaimed 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 unveils a huge new artwork which shouts the message loud and clear for all passing by to see – Stop Knife Crime.
“The situation with knife crime is just getting worse and worse and people have had enough,” says Ben. “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, near 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 large wall for the Flavasum Trust, which he has continued to repaint for a decade.