Tributes paid to three graffiti artists killed by train in south London – The Guardianby August 20, 2022
Street art world remembers men as local Tory leader is condemned for ‘scum’ tweet
Tributes have been paid to three graffiti artists killed by a train in south London.
The family of one of the three who died said he had an “exceptional” talent for art from an early age.
Jack Gilbert, 23, from Bush Hill Park, Enfield, “died doing something he loved”, a family statement said. “There are no words to describe the devastation we feel. He was a wonderful son, brother, uncle and boyfriend. His generosity was endless and he would help anyone who needed it.
“He lit up everyone’s world just by being in it and never failed to put a smile on people’s faces. The hole he has left in our hearts will never be filled. His talent for art even from an early age was exceptional. Everyone loved Jack and the only solace we have is he died doing something he loved.”
Harrison Scott-Hood, 23, and Alberto Fresneda Carrasco, 19, also died in the incident.
Spray cans were found close to the bodies on an elevated section of track between Brixton and Denmark Hill, south London.
Police believe the men were hit by an out-of-service passenger train near Loughborough Junction station at about 1am on Monday.
Scott-Hood, from Muswell Hill, north London, was “loved by everyone, he was an intelligent and wonderful boy who had so many close friends”, his parents, Susie and Perry, said.
“He was an intelligent and wonderful boy who had so many close friends.” Their son was a “beautiful artist”, they said.
The family said in a statement: “We are completely heartbroken by the loss of our only son, Harrison. He was the love of our life, a kind and beautiful young man and we were beyond broken by this news.
“Many people will know Harrison loved to travel. He was a beautiful artist and spent time recently travelling around Vietnam and Cambodia. Harrison completed us. He is irreplaceable and we will hold the memories of him dearly.”
Carrasco, a Spanish-American who lived in Hampstead, north London, was interested in fashion and due to study graphic design at the London College of Communication in September.
His family said: “With great pain we have received the news of the death of our son … We believe the three were hit by a train when they were painting graffiti late at night in a particularly dangerous place. His absence has left a deep hole in the family.”
Messages were left to the three men under their graffiti “tags” of Kbag, Lover and Trip on social media.
“RIP so young man too soon”, wrote one, while many messages read “Rest In Paint”, alongside images of the men’s painted tags on trains and walls. Another read: “Stay safe people, it’s not a game.”
Flowers and three spray cans lay next to shutters at the station, which had been spray-painted with “RIP” and three love hearts, on Tuesday morning.
British Transport Police were called to the scene at 7.30am on Monday. The train believed to have hit the men has been found and forensically examined, according to the force.
Det Supt Gary Richardson said: “We have a dedicated team working to establish how these young men came to be on the tracks in the early hours of yesterday morning. The initial evidence we have been able to gather indicates that the men may have been on the track for the purposes of spraying graffiti.”
An absolute horror and utter tragedy. RIP Kbag. RIP Lover. RIP Trip. pic.twitter.com/KVN0O7voBT
Tributes were also paid by the street art community online.
The ukfrontline Instagram page, an online forum for graffiti artists, has set up a tribute page. It included what purported to be a photograph of Trip as he mounted a fence.
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The forum also rounded on Brian Cooke, a former board member of Transport for London, who took issue with the BBC for describing the men as graffiti artists.
Cooke described the men on his Twitter account as “common scum and criminals who cost the railways millions and keep fares high”.
@BrianCookeBeck if this is really your words – this is part why they call the @Conservatives the #nastyparty pic.twitter.com/yFftl2SHPP
Cooke was suspended last month as chairman of Beckenham Conservative Association for using obscene language against the former mayor of Bromley Ian Payne, and calling him a “shameful excuse for a Christian human being” during a row on Twitter.
Angela Wilkins, the Labour group leader on Bromley council, said Cooke should be expelled from the Conservative party.
“They should take further action. It’s outrageous,” she said. “He should be thrown out of the party, the guy shouldn’t be involved in politics at any level.”
Marc Vallée, who spent a year documenting a London graffiti crew, agreed, saying: “His comments are callous and insensitive especially at this very early stage, and especially from a former TfL board member. I would hope that if he is still a member of the Conservative party that the transport secretary and others would say that he has brought his party into disrepute and expel him.”
Cooke has been contacted for comment.
A Conservative party spokeswoman said Cooke had been suspended pending investigation.
The rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, has opened a preliminary investigation into the deaths of the three men.