In July I headed to Gdansk for the first time and was wowed by the beautiful buildings, stunning beach and street art in the busiest port city in Poland. I've been to Krakow and I thought I knew what to expect, but no previous Polish adventure could prepare me for the colourful area of Zaspa, a residential area of Gdansk just outside the city. Zaspa is an 'open air art gallery' made up of 60 HUGE murals painted on the side of residential housing blocks. It was an idea that first came to life in 1997 during a festival and since then has been added to with more and more paintings.
I headed over to Poland with a friend of mine, Jo, and we'd done a bit of research beforehand into Zaspa (particularly on Zabby Allen's blog- thanks Zabby!) so on our second day we jumped on this bright little tram and headed the 20 minute trip out of the city - everything in Poland is much cheaper than the UK so the tram only cost about 60p!
We missed joining one of the local tours (there are several a week and they're free - more info here for if you're visiting) but that didn't matter as we downloaded the free map and set off around Zaspa. The first thing you see off the train is this beautiful green painting based on a diving scene in the Baltic Sea.
It's mainly a residential area and what struck us was how normal and day-to-day it was to say how many beautiful paintings there are on the walls - we were the only people taking pictures and most people were just going out their daily business, chatting, shopping and walking dogs.
Even the fronts of the buildings are beautifully painted in pastels and it's given me lots of inspiration for colours to print. It's the best experience of art I've had in ages and it's totally free! I left feeling really inspired and wondering why we don't have more colourful walls like this in the UK. If you're into street art it's worth the trip to Gdansk just to see Zaspa.
I took so many photos but here are a few of my favourites. I particularly enjoyed this first one by Gualicho as it reminded me of Dali and the colours are some of my favourite tones. If you're heading over to Zaspa it's worth noting that there isn't much going on there in terms of cafes and shops you can pop into to grab a drink - after an hour we found one small bar to grab a drink but it's worth stocking up before you go!
If you have any questions on Gdansk or Zaspa please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm more than happy to help out.