This was the first trip where we made a point of searching Invader’s mosaics. The earliest invasions of London occurred in 1999. Many of the older mosaics are now gone, either removed or victims of urban renewal. Unlike Bilbao and Barcelona, where we easily spotted the Invaders wandering the streets, all of the tiles that we saw came from the information provided in Invader’s book. We didn’t spot any that we weren’t actively looking for. Invader’s book included an intentionally crude map and a picture of the sites of the invasions. The map led us to general area and the serious searching began. The book’s pictures would show hints of the Invader’s location—a street sign, the name of a business. We scoured the streets until we found the Invader or the spot where the tiles once were. The longest searches invariably concluded with unmistakable evidence that the building where the Invader was installed was pulled down. It is remarkable how much building turnover there has been in London in the last ten years. We would never have realized this if we hadn’t been on the search for the Invasion
While spotting the Invader tiles we also saw some other patterned plates that were on buildings. Some were abstract. Others were multiple colors of frogs. What are these about? Are more street artists following Invader’s lead or was Invader following the lead of other street artist(s)?
In London, we located the sites of many invasions, though we saw the tiles only in nine spots. In ten or eleven additional spots, when we found the site of the invasion, the tiles were gone. Clearly not everyone sees the attraction of Invader’s efforts. Some say that the mosaics are street art. For others, the tiles are the work of a vandal. We were particularly disappointed that the Binary Sid Viscous (LDN-073) was missing.
(When we returned home and looked again at Invader’s website. We see that Invader has once again been active in London. The LDN_108 mosaic is shown on the website. Our book catalogs up to LDN-101. The invasion continues.)
London Space Invaders and the sites where Space Invaders once were:
Space Invader main page: