Ayaan Bulale has been living and working in London for many years now, and is the brains behind ‘Femme Fierce’, a record-breaking all-female street art event in Hackney that starts on March 7. Here she chats with The London Word about her favourite lesser known hangouts in the city and reveals all about her exciting new project.
‘I’m in my living room working away on Femme Fierce, the UK’s largest all female street art extravaganza that I am co-curating with Earthtone Arts at the Cre8 Gallery in Hackney Wick.
My favourite area is Regents Canal; the combination of tranquil waterways and incredible street art and graffiti makes it a perfect recipe for enjoyment.
My most vivid London memory is the day I looked at the calendar and realised I had surpassed my one year stay by 20 years!
My perfect London day would involve a warm, sunny day; meeting up with friends for a picnic at Greenwich park with lots of banter and Bermuda rum.
My perfect London night out would be spent at Monty’s bar on Brick lane to meet friends and check out what amazing street art the manager Perspicere have decided to put up.
The mixture of international and local makes London unique. New York has the energy, Miami has the sexy but London has that rawness, that creative edge and buzz that you can never get enough of.
Nothing beats a London summer…. From gallery previews and bank holiday madness to carnival and one day festivals and lazy evenings in the parks…. I love it!
I feel most creative on the tube. I find the noise and sense of movement is quite soothing so I tend to scribble away and generally it’s 50-50 whether I look up in time to not miss my stop.
I have never been to Richmond Park to see the deer… much to my eternal shame!
My favourite Londoner is probably my 11-year-old daughter Amira. She is born and raised in London but has an incredible amount of stamps in her passport. I like to think of her as a well travelled, well educated and open minded world citizen. The kind that makes London the best city in the world.
My road on Shooters Hill is London’s best kept secret. We have better views than Primrose Hill without the hefty price tag. I know most of my neighbours by name. It is really quite incredible the community spirit we have here.
Dirty, Pretty Things is a pretty powerful movie showcasing the underbelly of the city.
When I leave, I miss the quirky London humour and the dry wit in general.
The ‘no tolerance’ to street art and graffiti in some parts of London is madness. I wish, for example, The Royal borough of Greenwich with its endless hoardings and grey walls would allow them to be used for legal art.
The best advice I’ve ever been given? Be kind!
To revisit my past I would visit Flava of the month at Borderline by Charing Cross road, without a doubt, to relive the golden age of both British and American hiphop. Can do without the baggy jeans though.
To relax, I visit Leake Street/Shoreditch to see the new art that is up, who has been taken out and inevitable bump into an artist or two at work.
My biggest inspiration, my mom Zahra, is a formidable matriarch. She has five children scattered across the world yet she is the glue that keeps us all together so effortlessly.
I would recommend a street art tour with Art Under the Hood, the guy who runs it is so passionate and knowledgeable you can’t help but be inspired.
Femme Fierce kick starts on the seventh with an all-female street art exhibition at Cre8 Gallery in Hackney and then on International Women’s Day (March 8), we have invited over 100 female street artists and graffiti writers to take over the ‘Banksy’ tunnel at Leake Street to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Largest Spray Paint Mural by #femmefierce #100femalewriters team whilst raising money for Breast Cancer.
Happiness is having enough peace in life to be able to wake up and go to sleep with a smile.’
Femme Fierce starts on March 7 at Cre8 Gallery, March 8 at Leake Street All Female Take Over Saturday.
If you are a female graffiti street writer and would like to get involved, please follow this link to register.
For more information visit the Facebook link here!