The Deptford Murals – Part 2

Posted by Ruth

Earlier in the week Colin posted Part One of our Deptford Mural tour, after coming across the London Mural Preservation Society (@L_MPS), an organisation seeking to protect London’s fantastic murals. Here I’ll tell you about two more of the murals we came across in Deptford.

Partially hidden by a row of council bins, the third mural we saw looked a little shabby to begin with. However, on closer inspection the ‘Pink Palace’ mural has a wealth of interesting detail.

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Created in 1983 by a group of artists and local residents, the mural is the pink facade of a house, with images of cherubs framing the top of the building.

It is these cherubs that provide the intrigue. Far from angelic, these creatures are pictured as swigging gin, another reading the Beano, and a third posing as ‘Mr Universe’. For this reason this mural was absolutely my favourite.

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The final, and largest mural, named ‘Love Over Gold’, was painted in 1989. It was commissioned by Dire Straits (who grew up in the area).

The creation of the mural, led by Gary Drostle, involved local primary school children. It depicts issues relating to wealth, disability and equality, and includes an especially moving poem written by a 9 year old child, depicting the “tall tower blocks, cold and grey” in the area.

These murals are important, not only because they add vibrancy to the area, both also because they distil messages of struggle, warmth and humour into the streets of Deptford.

The Deptford Murals – Part 1

Posted by Colin

Over the past few weeks we have been digging around on Twitter in an attempt to unearth some more unheralded parts of the Capital. In doing so we came across London Mural Preservation Society (@L_MPS), whose aim it is to protect and celebrate these large works of art.

The handy map on their website showed us that four were to be found all within walking distance of each other in Deptford, South East London. Wanting to go Christmas shopping in Greenwich Market anyway, we took the opportunity for a quick tour. I’ll mention two of them here and Ruth will wrap things up in a later post.

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We first came across one of the newest additions to London’s mural scene – the Deptford Marbles at 494 New Cross Road.

At 9 metres x 4 metres, it covers an entire wall at the end of a small row of shops.

What is particularly clever about the piece is that it incorporates three large beams that were already attached to wall, seamlessly making them look a deliberate addition to the work. Painted in 2007 by Patricio Forrester, the mural envelops passers by making them seem part of the scene.

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A short walk along the always vibrant Deptford High Street, with its market stalls, fishmongers and butchers, brought us to another Forrester artwork – His and Hers on Giffin Square.

A surreal effort, he has transformed two chimneys into a couple with a necklace and tie hanging from a pair of chimneys. With a shocking pink background it is an unmistakable part of the bustling retail precinct.

According to the LMPS website, the necklace and tie took just one day to paint – at cost of £150 – thanks to donations from local businesses.

Ruth will pick up the story soon, but we’ll definitely be searching out a few more of these pieces of street art from the LMPS’s wonderful map.

Read Part Two