The street art scene across the country is booming, and is being seen as not only a way to brighten up dull spaces, but an chance to engage local people in their area, stimulate a feeling of pride, and offer up opportunities and creative prospects for some of those most in need. Here are five places to spot community murals across the capital.
By Francesca Baker, @andsoshethinks
Created by 6th formers from Clapton Girls’ Technology School in conjunction with volunteers from contemporary urban art based artists’ group Soulful Creative, this vibrant mural in Hackney is by national charity Envision. They run programmes for young people on issues relating to citizenship education, sustainable development and the local community.
The Forest Recycling Project is one of the country’s Community RePaint schemes, who collect reusable, leftover paint and re-distribute it to individuals and groups across the country to help them brighten up their areas. More than 31,000 people in social need, 2,477 voluntary organisations, community groups and charities benefited from their resources (which include a whopping 337,000 litres of paint). One such beneficiary was The Rhodes Estate in Hackney where residents, The Paint Place, local artists and Emma Scutt and Alice Cunningham transformed a wall on the estate.
Murals and street art are often associated with younger people, but South London’s Creative Sparkworks also support the over 55s on their Valuing Older People courses. During 2014 and 2015 they were involved in the Lambeth Walks Restoration Project, and, commissioned by the Ethelred Tenants Association, worked with residents to recreate the original 1981 paintings about the history of Lambeth Walk Square.
The Community Space Challenge, run by Positive Arts, revamped the Osprey Estate in Surrey Quays. Young people from the estate designed and painted the wall, which features the birds that the blocks are named after, included the tawny, raven and of course osprey, as well as a historic London Docklands scene. It’s great way to unite the past, present, urban and rural, as well as looking pretty.
On the side of the International Alert Building you can find images depicting what the HUG Portugese Group, Landsdowne Youth Club and Springfield Community believe to be unique about Stockwell. We’re stumped on that, but check it out regardless. Formed as part of a wider cohesion project, it’s helped local people feel proud about their area, and is one of many that Arts 4 Space have run across London.