If you have ever wondered why there are so many stunning murals around Brockley and how it came to be that a replacement painting for a demolished Bob Marley mural got created – the answer is the Brockley Street Art Festival.
Plans are afoot for the event to return this summer for its third year and be staged once again alongside the popular Brockley Max nine day community arts festival from Friday June 2 until Saturday June 10.
So the search for suitable prominent walls and talented artists is now on and a call has been made for funders and volunteers to come forward. Organisers are also keen for people to make suggestions of what they would like to see painted.
Since the Brockley Street Festival was launched it has offered people the chance to see acclaimed mural artists at work including the renowned Louis Masai who painted the Tiger mural at the end of
Cranfield Road in Brockley Cross. Global street artist Hunto painted the entire front of a house in Arica Road, while Tim Ralston created the Crofton mural and Lional Stanhope the Honor Oak Park work.
A new Bob Marley mural, to replace one that was in place for 30 years was painted by Dale Grimshaw in 2015 thanks to permission of JD Westherspoon’s the owners of the next door Brockley Barge. It replaced the 1970s tribute to the reggae icon near Coulgate Street which was demolished in 2005
Phillipa Ellis from the voluntary run festival told SLP that this year it is going to be bigger and better. The director and co founder of the event said: “The plan is to continue with our mission to bring colour to Brockley and surrounding neighbourhoods through a series of stunning murals by primarily local, but also national and international artists, for all to enjoy
She said: “People will be able to see the artists at work again but we are also want to have lots of activities including workshops and street art tours in Brockley and Crofton Park to share the stories behind the works and increase public participation”
Explaining the history of the event she said: “It all began in 2015 – this was the first year. We competed in a contest run by Global Street Art in Shoreditch. They are the experts on street art and make amazing murals. Along with the listing website The Londonist they wanted to find a neighbourhood which was able to host its own street art festival. Resident and journalist Ian Brimacombe put forward Brockley and made the case for it. This was backed by Nick Barron from the Brockley Central community blog and loads of people voted for it”
The mum of two said: “The first one was held at the same time as Brockley Max, we collaborated with them a lot and see it as very much a sister event.”
“Organising the festival does take a long of work as have to find suitable walls in prominent places and get permission from the owners and the council to use them in addition to making sure we get the appropriate artist for the site. We have had some really high calibre artists including Louis Masai and Lionel Stanhope who is a theatrical sign writer. Louis is internationally known for his tiger and endangered species artworks has also worked with Beecroft School to create murals a the school with the children.
“This year we want the festival to be even bigger and better than ever. We aim to have at least one stand out mural created in Brockley, Crofton Park and Ladywell. We really want to get more volunteers to get on board and attract more funding. In the past years we have provided materials and the artists have worked for free. But we can’t keep expecting that and we would definitely like to pay them for running workshops or doing demonstrations. Some of the works on high walls and so we need cherry pickers and scaffolding for the artists – the costs can mount up.”
To get in touch visit https://brockleystreetart.com/get-involved/ We are probably also going to need volunteers for the event programme.