Share this article


What started as a “graffiti pen pal project” between Don’t Fret of Chicago USA and Edwin of London UK has morphed into a collaborative exhibition, social experiment, and show.


Edwin, an artist and writer living and working in London, and Don’t Fret, a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Chicago, have over the past year been sharing words, text and ideas via social media. These texts are then scrawled, spray painted, tagged, and rolled onto walls, unsanctioned, in each artist’s respective city. Dont Fret communicates a text to Edwin and he in turn tags it onto a wall in London, and vice versa.


The UK’s Brexit vote, the turmoil of the US Presidential Election, the Refugee Crisis, each of these events have served to influence a project about a world that is so connected, yet so very disconnected. We are more capable than ever of communicating with one another, yet perhaps the least capable of actually learning from that exchange. Hence, ‘The Distinct Sound of Laughter in the Distance’.


Through an exchange of observational commentary, both artists’ witty and blunt nature, and the inherent implications of illegal graffiti, this project aims to discuss and bridge the personal, social and political dialogues voiced not only on walls by the artists, but by the larger population of people in cities on both sides of the pond.


‘The Distinct Sound of Laughter in the Distance’ will cumulate in an exhibition of collaborative and individual works by the two artists and will include paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, and one-off installations. The exhibition will coincide with the release of a book of the same name, a document of the work and process the two artists have created for this special project over the past year. The Distinct Sound of Laughter In The Distance opens at Unit 5 Gallery in East London on Friday 11th November and runs until Friday 2nd December.


For more info check out Unit 5 Gallery at and the artists on Instagram: @dontfretart & @edwinonwalls

Josh Reich

About Josh Reich

My introduction to art and street art was mostly through album artwork. I was drawn to Futura 2000 (via UNKLE), Steve "Espo" Powers (Tommy Guerro), Paul Insect (DJ Shadow), and Bansky (Blur) before I even knew what street art was. Spray paint is banned in my home town of Chicago, so the internet became my portal to the world as I leaned about amazing artists creating on walls all around the globe. My day job is in music, but I continue to have a strong passion and respect for artists of all mediums.