XXL street art in Lille, or when urban artists take over the walls

Strolling through the old town of Lille, through the Vauban garden and through the citadel… It’s not so easy to go off the beaten path in Lille. However, in the less touristy districts, the city is full of street art. Head to Parc Lebas and its XXL format works.


We all know Old Lille and its cobbled streets, the Vauban garden and the citadel, but we know less about the rest of Lille’s neighbourhoods, which are less touristy. However, it is enough to lift the nose to discover, on the city walls, works of art. Following the recommendations of the Guide du street art Lille Métropole, today we walk through Saint-Sauveur and Moulins to observe, in the curves of the streets, how the artists have taken over the pediments and the interstices.

A work signed Ikste. PHOTO JULES LEBRUN

As we stop in front of the monumental work of the Tlacolulokos collective, all around us, the inhabitants of Lille make a living without noticing their presence.

Departure point: Lille Grand Palais metro station, boulevard Louis-XIV. It’s hard to miss the blue facade and its two girls in the building behind you at the subway exit, produced by the Mexican collective Tlacolulokos in 2019 for the International Biennial of Mural Art (BIAM) and for Eldorado, lille3000 season. As we stand in front of this monumental work, around us, the people of Lille live their lives, without even noticing their presence.

The Tlacolulokos fresco was painted in 2019. PHOTO JULES LEBRUN
The Tlacolulokos fresco was painted in 2019. PHOTO JULES LEBRUN

art treasure hunt

Around the moor of Saint-Sauveur, street art is everywhere at home.  PHOTO JULES LEBRUN
Around the moor of Saint-Sauveur, street art is everywhere at home. PHOTO JULES LEBRUN

Then head to Parc Jean-Baptiste-Lebas, the one with the red doors, via rue Camille-Guérin. There, it’s a bit like a treasure hunt because the works are everywhere, between labels and promotional posters. The opportunity also to walk through the old Saint-Sauveur station, which has become a real meeting place for local artists.

One of the Guardians of rue de LaDame QUICOLLE.  PHOTO JULES LEBRUN
One of the Guardians of rue de LaDame QUICOLLE. PHOTO JULES LEBRUN

Arrived at the park, all you have to do is walk up Boulevard Jean-Baptiste-Lebas and look at each wall to be surprised by the collageslike those of LaDame QUICOLLE, and other paintings sometimes half-masked by works.


The walk continues at the Maison folie Moulins, rue d’Arras, where Tlacolulokos’s second production draws attention from afar. On the left, hidden, the fresco by the artist lille BOB59,reproduction of a subway station (much prettier than in real life).

At the Maison folie Moulins, the Lille metro seen by the artist BOB59.  PHOTO JULES LEBRUN
At the Maison folie Moulins, the Lille metro seen by the artist BOB59. PHOTO JULES LEBRUN

Then head to the Ludovic-Boumbas esplanade to reach the Flow, an essential place in Lille’s urban culture, and the monumental work that adorns its façade. In front of the Flow there is also a wall whose colors change according to the wishes of the artists.

The wall facing the Flow is regularly occupied by new artists.  PHOTO JULES LEBRUN
The wall facing the Flow is regularly occupied by new artists. PHOTO JULES LEBRUN

Finally, and depending on the mood, the trip can continue. further in Moulins or towards the gardens of Parc Lebasin the shade of the trees, accompanied by the smell of flowers…

To end the walk, head to the Parc Jean-Baptiste-Lebas gardens.  PHOTO JULES LEBRUN
To end the walk, head to the Parc Jean-Baptiste-Lebas gardens. PHOTO JULES LEBRUN

Practice

To go

The easiest way is to take the metro to Lille Grand Palais station. For those traveling by car, there are two paid car parks nearby: the Zenpark Zénith Arena-Président Hoover (accessible from avenue du Président-Hoover) and the Zenpark Lille Grand Palais (107, rue Madeleine-Rebérioux). Finally, for the brave, a V’Lille station is located near Parc Lebas, on the Boulevard Louis-XIV side.

Walk

The proposed route lasts about 30 minutes but if you do the complete walk described by the guide, then count at least one hour for a distance of 2.7 km. It is therefore possible to split the walk in two and stop for a drink on the terrace surrounding the Jean-Baptiste-Lebas park before heading towards the Moulins district.

Inform

the Lille Métropole street art guide, published in May 2021, offers eight routes, including three in Lille, with associated maps. Alternative Editions, 144 p., €13.50.

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