The artworks programme in Brixton goes as far back as 2017, where we had several community engagements and community workshops. Outcomes from these workshops, and others over the following two years, were distilled and translated into a series of proposed designs for the Brixton Social Cluster Upgrade. These designs were shared at a number of community pop-up exhibitions, and the exhibition at The Roving Bantu Kitchen, 9-13 April 2019.
The final artworks reflect the placemaking process with neighbourhoods that surround the Brixton Social Cluster.
The resulting artworks were implemented on site:
- Mercury Road façade treatment
- Stage Mural (in the amphitheatre)
- Skater Girl Mural
- Ramp Mural
- Henna Hand
- Fence Artwork
Mercury Road Façade:
This artwork will greet users and visitors to the space as they enter the Brixton Social Custer on Mercury Road. This artwork is inspired by place making workshops with surrounding neighbourhoods, specifically a workshop that involved the making of a temporary woven carpet. This communal making process resulted in designs that represent outcomes from the workshops.
This mural is situated in the amphitheatre of the Brixton Social Cluster. It was created with great care to respect the original source imagery, which was the communal weaving process extracted from community workshops. In addition to this core element that influenced final design, we were also inspired by artefacts that were brought to our storytelling workshops in Mayfair – some of these represent woven elements that are symbolic of home.
Skater Girl Mural:
Drawing its inspiration from local culture, heritage architecture, and popular culture, the Skater Girl Mural will be one that connects past, present and future themes along the North facing entrance of the Brixton Social Cluster upgrade. Local graffiti and mural artists were joined by two Brixton based artists (Sarah and Fatima), who are collaborating in order to bring this mural to life. It is a visual connector between the public space and parking area that faces onto this entrance. Creating a metaphorical dialogue between public space, road users, and public facilities.
The Ramp Mural within the Brixton Multipurpose centre is intended to visually connect the walkways. The design was developed during creative workshops in 2018 with local artists. These artists attended a four day creative workshop held at the Roving Bantu kitchen where they discussed the issues aligned with Brixton’s multi-cultural tapestry, and brainstormed ideas and created artistic solutions for the Brixton upgrade area. These design solutions are evident in the artworks implemented on site. This artwork was implemented by a crew of Johannesburg based graffiti artists, in partnership with local artists from the area.
The Henna Hand is a wooden carving that was inspired by workshops with the Somalian women’s community. During the workshops, spices and food broke down language barriers, and were used as a tool to connect the past and the present, and memories of home to Johannesburg
These artworks explore Brixton and its diverse surrounding neighbourhoods – through the motifs of textures, patterns, fabric and the intersectionality of cultures and place. Using local flora, and the watershed ridge which runs through the neighbourhood, as a central thread which unites people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and the elements which resonate with the spirit of the place. The texture and patina of Brixton as a working-class suburb is further overlaid, with the patterns of local gates and walls within the drawings. (Text by Brigitta Stone-Johnson)
Artists Collaboration: Sarah Tribane and Brigitta Stone-Johnson