Two Murals Painted for Grenfell
In June 2017 I was campaigning with people, doing art work and writing about the appalling demolition of housing estates in Lambeth and the effect this is having on people.
Whilst involved in this work I heard of the devastating fire of Grenfell Tower in West London. On the 2nd of July I attended an Eid Ceremony for those who died in the fire and met people who were looking after the now tributary and healing space, which is under the motorway flyover near the tower. Whilst in the area some of the people looking after the space asked me to paint something on a motor way pillar, so that people wouldn’t forget. I was uneasy about doing this, given the sensitivity of the task and the huge gruelling human trauma the work would be about. But after conversations described here with people in the area I felt encouraged to make the work photographed here. I learnt a lot as the work progress from speaking to local people and volunteers and this informed the work. So the murals were done in dialogue influenced by what people told me portraying the faces and people I was seeing around me.
The second mural was made speaking to a number of people in the community over a longer period of time and was influenced by the sites and sounds as people worked making a commemrative gardern in the summer with social events which took place where people supported each other. It is importnat to note that the commemrotive garden came form peoples voluntary efforts after the fire, the mural sort to honour this spirit. As the work emerged it developed into a conversation about housing injustice and the imagery and colour and composition of the work was all influenced by these conversations.
One of the guardians and intiators of this area, Livingstone, gave advice and support as the paintings progressed. He also encouraged others to make art work as a contribution to this commerative space.
Some of the work is seen in this video by Krome (R2S)- in the aptly titled ‘No Justice No Peace’ (Prod by Hydra)