Graffiti normally involves new designs being scrawled across large swathes of wall. Nissan, however, has created “reverse graffiti” in London’s Waterloo – where patterns are created by selectively cleaning pollution grime off dirty walls to leave a new design.
This large-scale mural created by reverse graffiti artist Moose reimagines a capital without car fumes by selectively washing dirt off London walls, all using kit powered by the electric Nissan Leaf.
On show in Waterloo, just metres from the South Bank, this street art depicts the capital’s iconic skyline and highlights the city’s battle with air pollution. Moose used a jet washer or wire brush to carve out a distinctive design in negative form on the wall. Helping to make this possible was the centuries of pollution and decades of vehicle fumes in London that built up a dark layer of grime on the walls.
My whole ethos is about highlighting the amount of pollution we endure daily, using a very positive harmless method that never fails to ask questions about what we accept and what we shouldn’t accept in our environment.
This new artwork is now on display in the subway at Waterloo’s Station’s Approach and includes many of the city’s most well-known landmarks – from the London Eye to Battersea Power Station and Buckingham Palace to The Shard.
The artist used a Nissan Leaf to power his pressure washer, using a portable device which converts charge in the car’s battery to provide as much as two days’ worth of power to a household on a single charge. Before the artwork was washed into the wall, Moose sketched the outline of London’s skyline by hand, with the finished artwork stretching across 10m of wall and reaching up to 2.5m high.
The artist said: “I’ve been using reverse graffiti for 15 years now, in fact I named it. My whole ethos is about highlighting the amount of pollution we endure daily, using a very positive harmless method that never fails to ask questions about what we accept and what we shouldn’t accept in our environment. For these reasons I was keen to be involved in this project.”