28 February 2024

Love Salisbury spoke to the anonymous artist behind Salisbury’s new street art

A piece of street art has appeared on the wall of Framemakers in Butcher Row, Salisbury. The monochrome, spray paint design was first spotted by residents in the early hours of Friday morning (20th August 2021).

The piece depicts a girl holding a camera and is titled ‘Smile’. The artist responsible for the art is Hendog, a self-taught street artist from Hampshire.

Love Salisbury got to know the anonymous artist behind the street art.

“I have always been into art but I had a problem with my mental health some time ago and art gave me something to focus on which wasn’t that,” explained Hendog.

While this is the artist’s debut in Salisbury, it is not the first piece of street art they have done.

“I have done 13 or 14 other pieces of street art. I am Hampshire based, and the Salisbury one is the first one outside of Hampshire.

“I know the Salisbury area quite well as my Mum is local. When I was trying to pick a wall for this piece I decided to come to Salisbury and see what you guys had. I did it overnight on Thursday and it took around two hours.

“I didn’t know Salisbury was so lively at night! I didn’t expect to see so many people. Nobody ever stops you, you think it would be harder than it is but it’s really not,” said Hendog.

When asked if they were anonymous, Hendog explained they used a pseudonym for legal reasons.

“I guess I am anonymous, it is more of a legality problem. I live a very normal life and obviously what I do is illegal. No matter how it is publicly perceived it’s still illegal, so I keep anonymous for that reason.”

‘Smile’ is part of a series that Hendog shares on their Instagram. They tell us that street art is a way of sharing a message with many people.

“This series is about joy and I want to share that with people. I don’t want it to be confined to a canvas that one person owns, I want to share it with as many people as possible. Not everybody will take something from it but some people will, and that’s enough.

“When you put all the pieces together it’s meant to take you back to a time where everything was joyful and everyone was happy. You’re playing with your kite or bubbles or a camera. It is meant to incite a feeling which is based on joy and is harder to come by when you’re an adult.”

‘Puddle Boy’ is another piece in the series, spotted on Water Lane in Winchester

When asked what they think of people who disapprove of street art, Hendog told us ‘everyone is entitled to an opinion’.

“Art is subjective. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. If they don’t like graffiti, I understand that, if they do like it I understand that too.

“It’s such a broad topic because it is vandalism essentially but it is not always done correctly, and it is not always done well, which gives the whole thing a bad stigma.”

Hendog believes legal spaces should be provided for aspiring street artists.

“If councils want beautiful street art they have to provide places for people to practise because this is not something that happens overnight. It takes years of hard graft to figure it out. People should have legal spaces where they can do that.”

Speaking to Louise Thatcher, owner of Framemakers, she said:

“We love it! We weren’t aware of it at all. It’s a really nice image, and we don’t have a problem with it – it’s staying for as long as it can. Lots of people are stopping to take pictures of it.

“We were chuffed that they chose us. It is just the right spot; it fits perfectly”.

Look out for Hendog’s next piece of art which is set to appear in Hampshire. Check out the full art series here.

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty