Peckham Perspectives // Remi Rough
An ongoing project curated by us, working with local photographer, Rob Jones. In the months leading up to the launch of Peckham Levels, we have spent time in conversation with a wide range of local people to gather together a truly mixed collection of opinions and ideas from a group of people who begin to represent the huge diversity that makes up Peckham's community.
Meet Remi, a Peckham based street and graffiti artist, currently working from his Nutbrook Street studio which sits tucked in-between Bellenden Road and Peckham Rye. Local readers may be familiar with his work, seen around the East Dulwich area, giving bold, bright and graphic bursts of colour to the streets.
We met with Remi to discuss his connection to Peckham, his feelings about the community and his fondness towards its diverse, collaborative and creative roots. We talked art, street art, his current projects that take him travelling (non-stop its seems) around the globe, and what he thinks the future hold for Peckham.
How do you feel your local area has influenced your work, if at all?
“It keeps you grounded. It’s a nice community of people and I guess just being in a place you love helps you make the right decisions with your work.”
We agree. Remi works with a variety of materials, his canvas work is created using a combination of acrylics and spray paint and his large murals are predominantly latex.
Our conversation naturally led to the changes that Peckham has seen and continues to experience with the arrival of new residents and new businesses, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars.
“I feel the changes are largely positive. The negatives are of course the cost of rent for businesses, I’ve seen friends set up little coffee shops and not be able to afford the rent increases and close down. But I feel it’s a long way off from say Shoreditch.
Rye Lane is Rye Lane, you can add things but you can’t really take things away. I feel it’s got to a point that it’s got a really nice balance, everyone feels the balance”.
When asked what he feels the future holds for community, Remi’s response was music to our ears;
“We need places for people to be creative, studios, for people to print things, make things, talk, do yoga, we need more places like that. If we can hold onto spaces for people then the community can have somewhere to be that they want to be, but if you take those things away, that’s when other people come in and take that away.
It’s not all work, there is so much to experience across SE15, and we wanted to a peek inside Remi’s relationship with the area.
Tell us about your ideal day in SE15…
I’ll get up, drop my daughter to school and then come home, grab the dog and walk to Daily Goods in Camberwell for my morning coffee, walk back via Warwick gardens so my dog; Teddy can have a mad run around, then walk up to my studio and work on a painting I’m trying to solve for a few hours. Lunchtime i’ll walk over to Petitou for some nice scrambled egg on toast and then walk back to the studio to work some more. Evening time dinner at Miss Tapas which is one of my favourite spots in the whole of Peckham.
What is Peckham's hero statement?
It’s South London’s capital. Full stop.