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It ain’t easel: Canonbury street artist has kit stolen

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:43 10 August 2017

Artless: Gary Power's tools and painting were stolen from the corner of Canonbury Lane and Compton Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Artless: Gary Power's tools and painting were stolen from the corner of Canonbury Lane and Compton Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

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A popular street artist is appealing for information after a callous thief nicked his work – and his kit.

Gary Power. Picture: Polly HancockGary Power. Picture: Polly Hancock

Over the past few years, Gary Power has become well known for his art out and about in Canonbury.

As a full-time carer for his wife, Gary’s paintings are his main source of income. The art stolen in Compton Road’s junction with Canonbury Place on Thursday afternoon was set to go on sale at Islington’s Cross Street Gallery.

He also lost about £400 of supplies, and has been forced to take out a loan just so he can continue his work.

Gary Power's missing painting, stolen in Compton Road, Canonbury, on Thursday. Picture: Gary PowerGary Power's missing painting, stolen in Compton Road, Canonbury, on Thursday. Picture: Gary Power

Gary, 52, of Colebeck Mews, told the Gazette: “I’m a full-time carer for my wife, who has multiple sclerosis and is wheelchair bound. My street art is my source of income, because I don’t have to go far out from our home, which allows me to care for her.

“At about 5pm, I left my easel, painting, trolley and supplies to briefly go and assist her. I got back 10 minutes later and it had disappeared.

“It’s the type of thing you wouldn’t expect to be stolen. And it’s not like when people leave furniture out for passers by to take. I’m trying to deduce who would do it, whether it was someone passing by in a van or someone who is in a desparate situation.”

"I had to take a loan out for £400 to replace the supplies as I can’t live wihout my painting"

Gary Power

He added: “It’s surprising. I think Canonbury is quite village-y. But that’s life – people take things.

“I’d just spent £280 on paint. I had to take a loan out for £400 to replace the supplies as I can’t live wihout my painting. I also had the pallet for 35 years, which was given to me by artist and my mentor Ruth Leibman. Other things can be replaced but that was of important personal value to me.

“I get over things quite quickly, but at the same time it’s really upsetting that this could happen.”

Poignant: Gary Power's latest painting. Picture: Gary PowerPoignant: Gary Power's latest painting. Picture: Gary Power

St Mary’s ward PCSO Garry Dwyer is trying to help Garry recover his equipment, and said: “He’s a real character around the streets of Canonbury. He’s not just your average street artist – he paints serious work and lots of people identify with him.

“Gary adds a bit of culture to Canonbury and I’m hoping the supplies have just been chucked somewhere – and that it comes to someone’s notice so we can get it back to him.”

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Mr Power’s supplies can call PCSO Dwyer on 020 8345 0362.

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