All posts tagged: Dulwich

ROA TOWERS : New Shots from UK, Belgium, Sweden, Mexico, Germany, Italy and the US

ROA TOWERS : New Shots from UK, Belgium, Sweden, Mexico, Germany, Italy and the US

We’re back with a slew of new ROA pieces as he continues to share the absolute best images with BSA readers while traveling around the globe. The Belgian street artist, who we refer to as an Urban Naturalist, continues his astounding world tour at a pace that few Street Artists can sustain. Right now he in Hawaii for Pow! Wow! but will soon be in New York for what we hear will be a rather amazing solo gallery show.

The prolific painter has so many fresh images for you that ROA is getting two days of postings on BSA this week. Today we go to London (UK), Werchter (Belgium), Bromölla and Nassjo in Sweden, Queretaro (Mexico), Schmalkalden (Germany), Rome (Italy), Lexington, Kentucky(US), and Las Vegas, Nevada (US). Accompanying some of the images is commentary from ROA about the experience, the context in which he created the pieces and the relevance of the subjects he chose to depict.

Werchter (Belgium)


ROA. Werchter, Belgium. North West Walls. 2014 (photo © ROA)

As is often the case, ROA raises consciousness about the deleterious effects our everyday selfishness causes for the animal world, who we crow so loudly that we care about. While ROA could stay with comfortable subjects, he has demonstrated a long lasting dedication to the plight of animals that few social activists doing work on the street can sustain or have the stomach for. Coupled with the ceaseless dedication to honing his craft over the last few years, sometimes the result is so monumental that your jaw drops open.

This container construction is a permanent installation for NORTHWESTWALLS in Werchter, Belgium. He explains how he arrived at the subject when he was given this massive sculpture of shipping containers as canvas. “Thinking about this situation and the given element of the containers, my thoughts were directly connected to freight and legal and illegal animal trafficking of exotic animals: a questionable practice,” he says.

“Illegal trafficking is an ongoing crime and we all know to what it can lead, however in the context of legal trafficking I was thinking about how the colonies exported exotic animals in poor conditions to show in Victorian zoos. I also thought about the ironic repercussions of zoos today: how they export animals for breeding programs and how some species only exist in captivity anymore, which is a paradox. So this is how I got the idea to use the containers as cages and instead of using native animals, it became a pile of exotic animals.”

Schmalkalden (Germany)


ROA. Schmalkalden, Germany. WallCome Festival. 2014 (photo © ROA)

ROA chose this bat as his entry in the WallCome Festival in Schmalkalden.

Sweden (Bromölla and Nassjo)


ROA. Nassjo, Sweden. Nassjo Kommun. 2014 (photo © ROA)

“I took the train to Nassjo, where Nassjo Kommun invited me to paint a bird on the rooftop,” says ROA.


ROA. Tyrannosaurus. Bromölla, Sweden. 2014 (photo © ROA)

“Malverket (the building) is a part of a ceramic factory that makes huge insulators, located in Bromölla, in South Sweden. ‘Bromölla boasts remains from the Stone Age, and even some findings of dinosaurs‘,” he says, quoting the WikiPedia page I painted a tyrannosaurus. Teresa and Jonathan invited me, and I do know you already shown the reportage of Henrik Haven, thank you for that! That was great.



ROA. Shrew in Dulwich, London 2014 (photo © ROA)

“The London shrew in Dulwich,” he tells us, is actually a depiction of a shrew is stuck into a jar. “It happens a lot in nature that shrews crawl into empty beer bottles and can’t get out because of the slippery/smooth bottle end… they die and the rotten smell attrack other shrews to check out the bottle and on tier turn they become trapped in the bottle.”

ROA thanks Ingrid Beazley from the Dulwich Picture Gallery who invited him over to paint the Dulwich wall.




ROA. Flea. London 2014 (photo © ROA)

“Another local animal from London, the flea,” says ROA.

Lexington, Kentucky, USA


ROA. Lexington, KY. 2014 (photo © ROA)


ROA. Lexington, KY. 2014 (photo © ROA)


ROA. Lexington, KY. 2014 (photo © ROA)

“I also painted in the Bourbon Distillery District,” says ROA of his trip to Kentucky for the PHBTN Festival, “where I painted a chicken wing (as in Kentucky Fried…).”


ROA. Lexington, KY. 2014 (photo © ROA)

ROME, Italy


ROA. Rome, Italy. 2014 (photo © Lorenzo Gallito/

You may recall we did a previous posting on this bear piece when ROA first completed it.

ROA and An Orphaned Bear in Rome

Queretaro, Mexico


ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)

ROA did a number of paintings of animals local to the area while in Queretaro for the Board Dripper Festival, which celebrated its fifth year in September. ROA would like to says thanks to Isauro for the hospitality.


ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)


ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)


ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)


ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)

Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)


ROA. Las Vegas, Nevada. 2014 (photo © ROA)

ROA painted this horned lizard for the Life is Beautiful festival, and he extends his thanks to Rom and Charlotte.



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



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ROA Gets Up With New Animals In Tow

ROA Gets Up With New Animals In Tow

BSA travels with ROA to Austria, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the US.

Today we visit with Street Artist, urban naturalist, and globe trotter ROA to see what walls he has been climbing since we last checked in with him and his traveling curious circus of animals. Alternating between the cuddly and the killing, the endoskelton and the excrement, the pugnacious, playful and the putrefying, this Belgian world citizen is no romantic with his subjects and he isn’t asking for you to be either necessarily.


ROA. Lagos, Portugal 2013. (photo © Roa)

If you consider the brutal natural and man-made world that animals have to survive in and the ruthless depravity of humans throughout the ages (including right now), perhaps ROA’s depictions of these regionally based creatures are a healthy counterbalance to the fictional storytelling we customarily see in large public depictions of animals. Rotting Big Bird, anyone?


ROA. Lagos, Portugal 2013. (photo © Roa)

In one instructive example, a local town meeting in Chichester in Great Britain erupted into a heated debate this spring and a vote was called over whether to remove one of ROA’s fresh paintings from public view. The aerosoled portrait  featured a rotting badger lying belly up and pock-marked across the front of a neglected building.

“It’s not appropriate, it’s grotesque and I hope it will be removed,” said the district and parish councilor who was outraged at the factual representation of a dying animal, according to a local website. The article does not mention if she was equally outraged at the culling of badgers locally, which ROA was drawing attention to, or if she would call the culling of undesirable animals “grotesque”.



ROA. Ibex at the harbor in Linz, Austria 2013. (photo ©

You wouldn’t cheapen the spray-painted monochromatic realism of ROAs work as activism per se, or even moralizing. Sometimes a bear is just a bear.

But sometimes the poses and positions and selectively illustrated details are more pronounced than one may see in nature, so clearly his desire is to draw attention to them. And why not try to give a voice to them? Otters don’t do email and bison hooves are too clunky for texting and nary a narwhal has his own Facebook page. If they have been displaced, marginalized, or are suffering, you won’t see a cluster of clamoring squirrels arrayed before a bank of microphones and cameras issuing a press conference.


ROA. Detail. Linz, Austria 2013. (photo ©

But slowly and gradually and almost systematically the former graffiti artist has been raising the awareness of even the dullest among us bipedal primates that the animals we are sharing the world with are plausibly pissed about that whole “dominion over nature” clause that pious Pulcinellas spout when justifying treating some animals like trash even while their blue-blooded poodles are having pedicures. Now that you think of it, this may not be exclusively about the animal kingdom.

Certainly we have all learned from ROAs travels that nature isn’t pretty – and can possibly be very alarming – and he won’t likely let you forget it.

So start trotting, galloping, swimming, scurrying, slithering, and scurrying! We have a lot of catching up to do with ROA as this year he’s been in Austria, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the US.


ROA. Linza, Austria 2013. (photo ©


ROA. Linz, Austria 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Mural Festival. “Still Life With Bison and Bear” Montreal, Canada 2013. (photo © Roa)

This wall was featured in our coverage this summer of the MURAL festival, where we wrote;

“For his first visit to Montreal, the Belgian Street Artist named ROA says that he had a great time creating this ‘still life’ with a bison and a bear. When talking about his inspiration, ROA says that he was impressed with the history of the so-called American bison, which was incredibly abundant in the early 19th century, numbering more than 40 million. After being hunted almost into extinction with a population of 200 a century later, the bison slowly have reestablished their numbers in Canada to 700,000. He decided to add a bear laying on top because it tells a similar story of a native mammal in the region.”


ROA. “Catch of The Day” Open Art. Örebro, Sweden 2013. (photo © Roa)

“This is the first time I actually painted a narwhal,” says ROA about the curiously speared whale that lives year-round in the Arctic.

“Their tusks make them a unique example of a species; in a way the narwhal is a mythical sea creature; The unicorns of the sea,” explains ROA about this Swedish piece.  “The young male narwal that I painted here is unfortunately caught in a fishing line. I wanted to draw attention to how they and many other species become a victim of hunting and pollution.”


ROA. “Catch of The Day”. Deatail. Open Art. Örebro, Sweden 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Vienna, Austria 2013. (photo © Roa)

At the start of July ROA opened his second solo show – this time with Inoperable Gallery in Vienna.

The exhibition was called “PAN-ROA’s Box” and it was an animal curiosity focused show.


ROA. Detail. Vienna, Austria 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. “Two Blue Tits” in Chichester, Great Britain 2013. (photo © Roa)

ROA was there as part of his invitation to participate at the Chichester Street Art Festival in May.


ROA. Chichester, Great Britain 2013. (photo © Roa)

Here is the painting referred to above that upset a number of people in Chichester and called for a vote to take it down (it was 50/50 so they’ve left it up).

Regarding the Badger Cull 2013

“After several emails from Louise Matthews about the upcoming badger cull in GB, I painted a badger to support their efforts to save the badgers,” says ROA. The controversial practice in Britain has gained a number of very adamant foes, including Brian May from the rock group Queen.


ROA. Bethenal-Green London 2013. (photo © Roa)

As a guest of Griff from Street Art London, ROA did this piece in Bethenal-Green.


ROA. Nuart 2013. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Malaga, Spain. (photo © Roa)

As part of his invitation to the Maus Festival, ROA painted this in Calle Casas De Campos, Malaga, Spain.


ROA. Malaga, Spain. (photo © Roa)


ROA. “Fighting Squirrels”, Southbank, London 2013. (photo © Roa)

“If you have ever witnessed a squirrel fight, you might recognize the action,” says ROA of these two enraged fellas in mid air.  He explains that when the North American Eastern Grey squirrel (top) was introduced it caused the red native Squirrel (bottom) to lose habitat and population, so now the red one is protected by conservation laws.

ROA would like to thank the Southbank Centre at the canal.


ROA. Dulwich, London 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Baroque The Streets Festival. Dulwich, London 2013. (photo © Roa)

Regarding the dog above, ROA says :

” It took me a detailed search into the Dulwich Picture Gallery to find an animal expression that was involved with the daily life of the time and express on it’s own a fragment of the ordinary life. My eye was caught by a pooping dog in a large scale hunting scene; I found that an interesting detail. The people of the museum told me they have more hunting scenes with this same curious detail, but those were currently not exhibited.”

Dulwich:  ‘Baroque The Streets: Dulwich Street Art Festival’ May 10-19, 2013. The festival was organized by Street Art London & Dulwich Picture Gallery


ROA. Urban Forms Festival. Lodz, Poland. 2013. (photo © Roa)

Roa wishes to extend his most sincere thanks to the following people:

In Southbank, London he sends thanks to the Southbank Centre at the canal.

In Linz, Austria he says thanks to Bubble Days Festival in Linz, and thanks to Poidle.

In Montreal, he says thanks to MURAL for all their good care and for the retreat in Quebec. Thank you also to Yan, Andre, Alexis and Nico!

In Malaga, Spain he says thank you very much Fer.

In Rochester he says thank you to Ian, Steven, Dan and Wise, who “made my stay excellent as usual.”

In Lagos, Portugal he says thanks to LAC Laboratório Actividades Criativas.

In Stavanger, Norway he extends his thanks to the NUART festival.

In Lodz, Poland he says thanks to Michael and the crew.

And we here at BSA say thank you to you all, and of course to ROA for sharing all his travels with BSA readers.

Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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