Archived on 6/5/2022

The Mural Designs!

25 Mar '18

Continuing the discussion from Sydenham Mural Planning:

Please be aware that these designs have been sent off to Network rail and The powers that be in Lewisham Council (as the wall lies in a “conservation area”. Therefore, no voting will be able to take place until these designs have been giving the all clear or in the unfortunate circumstance any are not, giving the designer/s opportunity to retweak as they see fit or not. There will also be a 5th option of keeping the wall as it is. Should this be most popular (or a voted design not raising enough money), as previously mentioned the spec inc budget, type of design and location will be looked at for changing to make this project a reality.

Ps: The abstract design, based on shapes found all around SE26, we hope to transpose onto the wall for parity between the designs. In addition please remember any winning designer will be required to produce two colour schemes to choose from.

Huge thanks to all the designers who have put the thought and time into submitting for the project.




25 Mar '18

Wow!!! Some absolute crackers there Jon.

I love the 1st and 4th :heart_eyes:

26 Mar '18

Fab to see the designs, I too love the 4th and 1st. Be great to see the final colours and fingers crossed on getting the designs approved.

27 Mar '18

They’re all great but I think number 4.

28 Mar '18

Hi SE26,

I am new to your Forum but have been following the mural idea.

Particularly am impressed by how JMLF has brought the community together in this way plus to be so proactive on our behalf. I have lived in SE26 since around 2004.

However and it does seem like I’ll be in the minority here, but I am eventually posting because I really do not like the idea of a mural.

In my view these are an eyesore. There’s one up on Kirkdale and it just looks unnatural, not in keeping, just out of place.

It’s very important that the high street is smartened up. I really doubt a mural helps that.

For example if you go to an established, smart high street area, you will not be finding murals.

If though this is going ahead then the best design so far is ‘Sydenham’ on a dark blue background. The others are very jarring.

I do apologise for not being able to support you on this.


28 Mar '18

I think high streets can be ‘smartened up’ while still being fun and creative. I’m always jealous when go to places like Brockley and see how vibrant it is around there thanks, in part, to all the wonderful street art they have. My favourite is the first one.

28 Mar '18

I’ve been trying to think more on this today.

My perspective comes down to that I’m not a great fan of street art. It can in my opinion often be ugly, garish, unsophisticated and it is imposed onto us.

Here’s an article I’ve just found, which echoes my views, describes further:

Art is my key interest, I run art galleries. So in some ways I’m surprised that I have this inflexibility around street art because I appreciate creativity and often all sorts of art.

Regarding art, I think what I place most value on is authenticity.

And the mural for example feels to me unnatural, imposed and jars aesthetically.

I do really like Lee Newham’s (sp?) collage though at the back of The Greyhound. It’s a real shame that it is not more visible. It’s unique, has meaning and is extremely well executed.

Please do note I am very conscious of JMLF’s efforts, I can see his initiative has created a lot of positivity and brought people together.


28 Mar '18

Hi Joanne,
Thanks for adding to the conversation. First of all everyone is entitled to their opinions and should not attract any negative comments. Appreciate that you can see the other side of the argument such as bringing the community together for a project. I have been involved in a couple of the meetings hence feel a bit more involved. I know Jon has spoken to couple of primary schools, local businesses and the Sydenham Assembly. We don’t want to impose anything which isn’t wanted by majority of people. I must say so far we have had overwhelmingly positive reactions. Currently awaiting approval of the designs and then voting will go live for decent period of time so everyone can contribute, have a think about the designs and vote. We are particularly trying to engage those not on social media. However there will be an option for no mural so all opinions can be considered and voted for. I think what is positive for me is that all designers are local and it gets people talking.
Let’s see how this project develops!

28 Mar '18

The various conversations we’ve had about the mural have been very useful, and in this case, @Joanne’s comments are particularly useful and very well made.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype around a project like this, and to forget that it’s pure aesthetics - and a design will be liked by some and not by others. It’s important we find a design that doesn’t push the boundaries of taste.

I was in favour of either 1 or 4 but after reading Joanne’s comment I’m now leaning towards 4.

29 Mar '18

@Joanne As always any and all contributions and discussions are valid/useful and I’m just pleased a lot of people are involved or have heard about the project (e.g.: my wife went to a hairdressers near Penge East Station and when it came up in small talk one of the people in the salon piped up that they were following the project!).

I think one thing that should be thought about which will be flagged up (if people feel it’s a good ide) is that if you aren’t fussed then by all means not voting I think* is probably a good idea, however if you actively prefer to have the wall stay as it is to any design going up then a vote for the plain wall should take place. Any thoughts by people? It may give some idea to the wording of the blurb if this is felt an important point to make.

To add to @Sgc message, the following places have verbally stated they will have the designs up and a ballot box:
2 x local secondary schools (*not primary as previously mentioned)
TNG youth centre
Kirkdale Bookshop
Cherry and Ice
The lovely gallery
Inkwa Tattoos (tbc but hopeful)

The following have stated they will have something up (whether all options and a ballot box or a poster only due to space etc…)
Mabel’s 5 and dime
Blue Mountain
Bobs wines

Waiting to hear back from:
161 food and drink
Sainsbury’s (Bell green and local)
Sydenham library
The Post Office
The Sydenham Centre

As Sarah mentioned we are trying to make this as accessible, known and community based as possible (even though I know it’s impossible to reach / please everyone!)

Thanks again for the kind words and contributing a particular view that I don’t think has been raised by anyone before - The subjectivity of art (and all arts) is one of the great things about it :slight_smile:

29 Mar '18

For me, apart from the positives of a a community based project, from a personal perspective I find that my day is immediately brightened up and improved by artwork, colours, images, typography, etc. There are both great pieces I enjoy and others which I really don’t and of course there are the more generic graffiti of tagging etc which for many people I imagine are an eyesore.
For me, regardless of the quality of the art, (although I like everyone else will have their own tastes and preferences!) I don’t tend to walk past plain/blank hoardings, walls, bridges, unoccupied buildings and the sort and give it a second look let alone think what a nice bit of X. (I’m not saying there aren’t of course people that do love certain types of walls, buildings, brickwork etc). So for me, the majority of things I see improves my journey by making me notice what’s around and think about whatever it is I’m looking at. I do agree that streetart generally doesn’t “smarten up” an area (I can’t remember the words you mentioned) and think that even objectively (I use that term with trepidation!) good/great art would probably make a place less tidy/smart just by being what it is - not a plain wall, well kept wall etc. Possibly these are a couple of decent examples in Dulwich? I personally love them but I would hazard a guess that most people wouldn’t say it makes a place smarter…


I think i’m quite lucky that I work in Croydon that has a wealth of street art, for my personal opinion from brilliant to terrible and everything in between but it really does make my day/commute so much more enjoyable/interesting. Here are a few of my faves (amongst others)I am lucky to pass daily:

30 Mar '18

No 4 for me. Very classy

30 Mar '18

Some amazing nearby street art there, Jon - good post!

31 Mar '18


I think some of the Street Art you’ve posted is certainly interesting. Plus I hear what you say.

Currently we have a Pop Up Gallery in East Dulwich, so right by some of the examples you’ve shown. Plus when I drive home go past the mural in Forest Hill and due to it’s position, in an otherwise ‘darkish’ place I like it.

Perhaps thinking on this more there is some potential of manoeuvre on my perspective? :slight_smile:

But back to the SE26 mural - I cannot yet see the purpose of any of the designs.

Anyone would already know they are arriving or leaving Sydenham surely?

Out of the designs options, I prefer ‘Sydenham’ on a dark blue background. But I do still think that will look out of place. Getting the brickwork itself cleaned I believe would look great.

Considering the level of backing you appear to be achieving plus clearly an intention to improve SE26, I just wonder if this could be channeled into another direction, other than a mural?


1 Apr '18

I actually find number 4 is barely street art and will not function in its intended capacity. Ie it is not striking and few people will even notice it. It also doesn’t really impart much aesthetic or say anything about what Sydenham is really about. The others are far superior IMHO although of course this is all hot air since it will all go to a public vote :slight_smile:

1 Apr '18


How would anyone or everyone know they were arriving in Sydenham is a question you ask.

At the first meeting regarding the concept of whether a “gateway” sign was crucial or not - a common view emerged that it was not. Nor was there any strong view emergent that people would or would not know they were arriving or leaving Sydenham

Fact is that as one progresses from location to location in SE London, the traveller has no real certainty about which borough or ward the traveller is in.

The murals around Sydenham’s immediate neighbours are warm, welcoming and most importantly to people, informative.

Jon has taken the project this far and two key votes are imminent. One to approve the design and location and equally importantly a second, to elect to contribute to the funding.

Please feel free to attend the meetings and debate your views. Some of us have done so already and have a detailed understanding of the constraints and equally importantly, future opportunities.

1 Apr '18

Hi jgdocerty

I’m unclear what your point is. Are you saying that the purpose of the potential mural is a ‘gateway sign’?

Initially you say this was not deemed needed and then describe people don’t have certainty about where they are? Are you sure about that? It’s very difficult to get lost these days.

I have been following the mural concept from the beginning and eventually posted because I really do not like the idea at all. My questions / reasons are as follows:

  • what is the purpose?
  • will it smarten the place up?
  • SEE3 have already introduced graffiti to SE26 (at the same time it was getting removed). Subsequently we now have graffiti on shop shutters and elsewhere. It is misinformed to think this is cool, the way to go. SE26 is not Shoreditch. We are not an art based, cutting edge neighbourhood. So why try to copy another location which started decades before and grows, evolves organically. Instead what about an authentic identity?
  • SE26 High Street is lined with very attractive buildings. There are some great shops too, the shop signage though is not great in many cases.
  • There could easily be an exciting, cost effective project to help improve shop signage plus to attractively advertise empty spaces. Attach an example

Back to the mural design options:

  • My understanding this would be on the bridge in SE26
  • Designs 1 and 3 are ghastly, an absolute eyesore. They are literal, garish, unsophisticated, resembling graffiti
  • Design 2 would more suit a local gift card
  • Design 4 - it’s the least inoffensive, hence my choice, but would also look out of place
  • I note all the opinion poll locations, but the outcome will not end up representative. Who pops to Sainsburys or the Post Office and has time to then consider or even wants to consider a mural? Therefore, unless planning permission is required, I think the choice will end up coming down to a very small number of people involved i.e: this forum
  • Art is of course subjective. But currently I cannot see why these designs (1,3,4) even fall into the category of art!

Why at all is my question?

1 Apr '18

Just to pick up on this point:

From what I can see, @JMLF has gone out of his way to reach as many people as possible. Considering he won’t be paid or compensated in any way, he’s made a commendable effort here.

Jon has approached shops, schools, multiple online forums, social media (working hard to build a following), and the Sydenham Society, which is able to reach thousands of residents that are interested in local affairs. The design will be chosen in an inclusive way across multiple venues.

I hope too that posters are able to be put up near the wall so everyone affected by the mural will be informed of it.

But technically I don’t think @JMLF is required to go to anywhere near these lengths. The owner of the wall (Network Rail, I believe) needs to be happy with the design, and the council needs to approve it (from a conservation area standpoint). From a purely technical point of view, that’s all that’s required.

Fortunately, winning the hearts and minds of the wider Sydenham community is important to Jon, and everyone involved in the project too.

2 Apr '18

Please call me John.

In every event my name IS jgdoherty…

As you say you have been following the concept from the beginning - so why wait until some several weeks before raising your objection(s).

Once more, please come to the meetings and debate your issues there.

2 Apr '18

Joanne is entitled to say what she wants, when she wants, as is every member of (provided they follow our guidelines)

Let’s not make this personal please.

2 Apr '18

Hi John,

Thanks for your reply.

Perhaps you are right that I should have attended the meetings. But I’m actively involved in art projects on a daily basis (that’s my job), so I have to be selective, due to time and pursue those that I’m interested in and moreover think that I can add value to.

This Forum has in any case offered me an opportunity to follow the progress on JMLF’s mural concept. He updates everyone in detail regularly which is great.

I have held off posting my views here, because my immediate reaction was that I do not like the idea. So I thought maybe best to wait until some design options had been submitted.

I’m extremely sensitive to aesthetics, my surroundings (I have autism). And I actually do not like the idea of passing the mural on a daily basis! It will be in a prominent position and I’ll have no choice but to see it every day.

I have expressed my views and before doing so realised that I’d be outnumbered. There isn’t really anything further I can add, without sounding repetitive.

JMLF’s intentions, I can see are highly positive.

My job is running art galleries which focuses on offering a platform to local artists plus forming many partnerships with local charities, organisations etc

Since I live in SE26, I’d love to be involved in an art project here, but unfortunately I cannot back this one.

I hope this all makes sense.


4 Apr '18

I like the 3rd and 4th.

5 Apr '18

I really like the idea of a Sydenham mural and would vote for number 1 or 4. I have also worked in the arts for many years (I don’t think that at all matters, but since it’s been mentioned a few times) and believe it would be a great contribution.

5 Apr '18

I love the artwork in Forest Hill and the shutters. The art in East Dulwich and Penge looks great too en mass.

I look forward to artwork coming to Sydenham. I think Jon has done a great job and the vast majority of people seem to agree.

I look forward to it adding to other artworks in the area.

5 Apr '18

Hi Again,

I realise this will not effect anything, but for my own interest, curiosity, I put forward the idea of a mural plus the designs to:

  • the artists we represent (x 70)

  • and a few colleagues

Pleas note I did not influence them with my view at all. Only asked for their opinion. Also note none live in SE26 but many are familiar with the area.

I achieved a high response ranging as follows:

  • most referenced the designs themselves: the feedback was not great at all. Much harsher than my comments!

  • around 50% do appreciate, enjoy Street Art, referenced a few ‘calibre’ locations (included East Dulwich)

  • then around x 10 mentioned in various ways that this does not smarten an area up

Unlike me, overall there were less objections to the idea of a mural, instead the comments had to do with the quality, standard of the design.

So with this in mind:

Would it be an idea to get more design options? Considering we would need to live with the mural for a long period, to only have x 4 options presented is limiting, not providing much choice.

Also are there other potential locations for your mural? I don’t think the bridge is the right place and this forms part of my objection. A few thoughts include:

  • the mural needs to serve a purpose, have meaning. Why is it there?

  • a higher wall space (first floor height)

  • painted, flat wall space versus on natural brick work

  • subtle, not right in your face

  • typography: modern, neutral, timeless

  • colours: muted, not garish

  • proportioned well


5 Apr '18

This looks like it’s going around in circles.
The mural isn’t on the bridge and other areas have been widely discussed. It’s worth following the other threads about the mural to find out more.

I don’t think anyone is against more submissions. If you have 70 local artists at your disposal, I’m sure people would love to see their ideas, there is nothing to stop them. I look forward to seeing what they submit.

6 Apr '18

Sorry but all of these discussions have been had already! We don’t want ot keep going back to the beginning we need to move on, remmebering that in the voting stage yu wil lhave the option ot vote for “no mural”

6 Apr '18

On holiday so have switched off from the world somewhat!

Will reply as thoroughly as I can when I return.

For the time being regardless of anything else, the next step of awaiting signing off by NR and The Council is still being waited upon (I have emailed again for follow-up and it’s the council rather than NR we are waiting upon)

Will read all posts and reply next week!

7 Apr '18

I like the third one down. I personally wouldn’t;t mind at all if Forest Hill and Sydenham became more of an art area as a lot would follow - though there’s a much too much gentrification affecting the price of deli/cafe food in the area now (I’ve lived in F Hill 25 years). A lot of street art doesn’t work, but it does slow down passersby and creates interest which all brings in punters and cheers up many locals. I know lots of people who like the large faces around Brockley though they seem a bit architecturally extreme. The bridges idea is good and would improve the mood of Sydenham high street in rush hours traffic mode. The greyhounds on Catford Bridge near where the old stadium was hint to history and look great. can we not bring more local history in to the designs?
Also I quite like the navy/white numbers/letters mural by Havelock walk in Forest Hill and the one in the walk behind Canvas and Cream - but not all the macabre cupid sculptures hanging from aver building - ugh - who makes, who thought of that?

9 Apr '18

All these murals do serve a purpose. They communicate pride in place.
We are Sydenham. We are proud of it.

It’s sometimes easy to over think things.

I look forward to voting and seeing what other option Joanne and her artists come up with. It may be possible to use Spacehive for other projects.

I hope this is the start of more quality street art for Sydenham and starts the ball rolling again.

9 Apr '18

The response to the Forest Hill Mural has been amazing - full of pride and local positivity:

10 Apr '18

Hi @anon5749742

I think a few more options would be interesting.

However, unfortunately this is not something I can offer via our artists. Simply because murals / street art is not what they do.

I’ve realised that I mistook the position for the mural, thought it looked as if it was on the bridge. But now realise the proposal is for the station approach area, which I think is a good location. Was being a bit slow!

I’ve been re reading through the ‘Sydenham Mural Planning’ thread and was particularly interested in @Nick_Garrett posts. He is offering lots of sound, professional advice.

In particular though I was extremely impressed with his website, showing numerous, very different projects. This has really opened my eyes to the skills involved in good sign writing.

So from looking at his work, my guess is that his design is option 4.

10 Apr '18

Thanks for the kind comments Joanna. Not sure what happened to my submission as I assumed it was in the pot - not submission #4.

10 Apr '18

That’s a bit odd isn’t it that your design hasn’t been included.
Have you asked why?

I’d be interested to see this.

And forgot to mention in my last post East Dulwich are also looking to create a mural, here’s the details in case of interest to compare criteria, decision making process etc:

11 Apr '18

If any artists do fancy being considered for the East Dulwich Mural then please do email an expression of interest to by Tuesday 17 April.

11 Apr '18

I’m not sure where the crossed wires took place but Nick’s design which was put forward initially I seem to remember was labelled “draft 1” and in the proceeding weeks leading up to the deadline a number of tweets was sent to him, and others, indicating for all designs to be sent to the email address alongside all the requested information in the spec - e.g.: costing, when it could potentially be done. Additionally around the time of the deadline I messaged Nick directly asking if he was to put forward a submission. I didn’t hear back from him at all during this time. Nick has emailed me as of the last few days to indicate that was a design meant for submission and it would have been accepted therefore unless there is strong opinion against for some reason, I will request Nick provide the additional information required and this will also be a choice.

11 Apr '18

Sooo, I’ve heard back from Lewisham and it’s disappointing but also mildly confusing news.

They have stated they prefer the wall not to be painted as for historical value/aesthetic value of the wall etc. However they also said if it was to be painted they would prefer the design that essentially paints least of the wall and uses the framing/inlet (the S E 2 6 design).

They also suggested that they would prefer the plainer brick wall to the left of the “turdis” as looking at it (the southernmost part of the wall that boundaries the bridge, station platform and WC if looking on a map) to be painted. This is a much smaller wall/s (including both walls as it covers the corner) with, depending on your point of view, possibly less visible lines (anyone walking through the Passage to come out opposite the entrance can’t see any of the wall pretty much but then the longer section of wall has longer visibility from the high street). I don’t think this as a location is appropriate for the idea of this particular project and likely wouldn’t do justice to the designs submitted (which obviously have been done for specifications of the wall we have been looking at). That is just my opinion.

Main reason I’m disappointed I guess is that only through chance, a forum member mentioned the conservation area, at a point just before the deadline for submissions and designers had already been working to a spec. Considering the Sydenham society and council have been aware and overall positive about this project from pretty close to the beginning , it just would’ve been nice to have been aware of this as a particular sticking point before things progressed.

The information to me is a little confusing as it’s not a definite no but equally I wouldn’t want the project to continue with voting and involvement of people’s time/effort if actually it’s going to be a no for whatever gets voted for.

So not entirely back to the drawing board but a lot of mull over I think and unfortunately a good discussion or even another meeting with how to proceed with the project.

Kind regards all,


11 Apr '18

Jon, that is sad to hear after all your work getting artists onboard and some great draft designs. I do think the S E 2 6 design looks good, so it’s not a complete non-starter.

Also, perhaps the council might relax their opposition to the bridge location?

11 Apr '18

Don’t think the bridge location is/would be an issue. That was based on something from a year ago or so and it seems Chris Best/The Council have changed their stance. Also, as it’s outside of the conservation area, it would not be an issue in regards to council planning/input etc as far as I can see also.

11 Apr '18

It’s just where to go with the project really - move location or keep going as it’s not a no and people have already put in work/effort for designs for that wall but if one of the designs wins the public vote and the council say nope then it’s all a bit of a waste, whereas equally, I think it wouldn’t be great if the council are just picking the one they like best as it may be one of the least voted for if doing a poll. And that’s not what the project was meant to be about! People power lol!

11 Apr '18

Jon, well done for getting things this far, perhaps the location can be changed and the artist’s designs can be transferred/adapted with their co operation and skill. It has been a very positively received project, so I’m sure there might be solutions to be found?!

11 Apr '18

is the council’s issue 1) visual / aesthetics, or 2) concerning the conservation of the wall (e.g painting directly onto it)?

Because if it’s 2), could the mural be painted onto boards cut to fit the framing / inlet, and the boards fixed into place, thus preserving the underlying brickwork?

11 Apr '18

and, as an aesthetic compromise, it’s not impossible that the S E 2 6 could be done in the style of #4 (which seems to be the favourite in this thread at least)

12 Apr '18

HI Joanne,

Yes, Nick is a really good signwriter. Luckily London (and the UK) has a great many signwriters, but sadly many, if not most shops and signage companies tend to go for backlit signs and don’t really care about history, datums, or high streets as a whole. The likes of Nick and others do. I believe Nick painted the Greyhound sign, the Lovely Gallery, Sugahill and the logo my wife designed onto the walls of Trattoria Raffaelle.

12 Apr '18

Ideally, if the brief is to paint in the natural panels, the original artists and designers should adapt their designs accordingly. It’s a big change and what may in principle may seem like a simple tweak, may not work in reality. It’s best to see all the designs than to speculate. I think No4 would work best on the flank wall of Property World or opposite the platform (where the platform used to be in Sydenham Station) which would make the most of its train influenced graphics.

It is disappointing that after all this work, the council throws a spanner in the works. But it’s not unusual. We have designed half a dozen murals for one conservation area in North London. None went ahead, despite it being a council backed project and the conservation officer initially liking them all (before changing her mind numerous times). And that is one of the easier councils to work with! With another council we painted a large mural and on a listed shop and next to a National Trust Property, under the gaze of English Heritage, Conservation and Design for London we painted a lizard crawling up wall of a shop that sold reptiles. What made that work was the support and will from all the parties involved. They wanted to do it and we worked with them until all parties were happy, which was suprisingly easy.

The point is, if the council make decisions based on good design that adds to the character of the area rather than just enforcing and interpreting rules, you can do some amazing things, even on listed buildings and in conservation areas.

NR was a little different. bridges can be problematic. We had one we designed which ended up having to be removable enamel panels rather than painted directly onto the brickwork. However, NR have become easier to work with recently. Once it was almost a blank no on everything!

12 Apr '18

This is the conservation area. The wall is in question is partly in and out of the conservation area. However, if the local cllrs, civic groups and community back this, there is no reason why it can’t happen! The Greyhound Mural is in a conservation area. But expect planning to have an input on everything submitted if it’s in the conservation area.

12 Apr '18

Very sad to hear this Jon, but please don’t give up. It is intersting how the council are so interested in the Thrpes and yet don’t seem to mind the shithole they have created for those of us living in Bell Green.How about Lower Sydenham as a venue instead?

13 Apr '18

Yes I think would need more clarity regarding what would or wouldn’t be accepted. However also run the risk that council keep changing the goal posts and then very much driven by their preference rather than majority of residents.
I would prefer to find alternative location, the key being accessible, visible and having full authority from owner. This has been much easier when NR own the wall as it seems in recent times have more easily got the necessary acceptance.
Certainly there is appetite in Sydenham for something to be done, just need to keep a focused project. Keen to support but right now no bright ideas of my own!

18 Apr '18

Just a quick thought re murals. Brief chat to Jon while we were discussing the mural, I mentioned the hoardings (is that the right word? - boarded up shop spaces) to the side of The Greyhound. Could they be painted? it could be then a temporary thing and might give a taste of what it is like to have murals in a public space.

I think we would need permission from the company who is responsible for the hoardings(?) and I guess if it wasn’t forever the council might be willing. Jon had more details!

It could add to the open space next to the pub, sort of piazza style. I’m not sure how artists would feel about it, maybe raise some money or ask them to do it as a project to promote their own work?! There is a lot of space so could co-ordinate with the artists who submitted their ideas.

Just an idea, not sure of the logistics, but happy to discuss further with anyone who might be interested/ feel it has potential or knows more than me?
Many thanks

18 Apr '18

Sorry for my sporadic replies of late - holiday then very busy at work and weekends at the mo!

Yes Kate, You are right in that as far as I’ve been told by an organisation that does street art “LDN calling” or “Global Street Art” (I can’t remember off top of my head which replied) that all that is needed is the OWNER of the hoardings permission. Not the council (especially as they are not in a conservation area!), the owner of the plot or the people intended to rent (e.g.: Nando’s / KFH). If the owner of the material is happy then I think anyone can do what they want with it (obviously there may need to be proof or something in case police come along) - it may sweeten the deal if the powers that be were to paint it back to gray (as it was) just before they are removed if they reuse hoardings etc.

20 Apr '18

Hi I have spoken to the premises manager for KFH and apparently the grey boarding is being removed on Monday as work starts on the new offices!

Good to have the boarding off, one less surface opportunity! Have to keep looking!

20 Apr '18

I’m relieved to read that your idea cannot even now be further contemplated.

A mural on hoarding would look extremely scruffy.

You say:

It could add to the open space next to the pub, sort of piazza style’

I’d seriously question that.

SE26 can get some things right, but my concern is the frequency that people with good intention can get it wrong too.

There’s no better example of this than SEE3.

And the mural does feel a bit like this to me too.

What’s the actual strategy? What’s this going to achieve?

I feel there is a lack of skill /experience around the idea.

We were also only presented with x 4 options, this was not after a well thought through, shortlisting process. That’s all we got.

20 Apr '18

With regard to the short listing meeting all people were openly invited to take part. I shall be honest it was disappointing that some proposals which had been put forward or posted were not followed up with a full submission. All parties involved did their best to spread the word and get as many submissions as possible but ultimately cannot force people to make submissions.
I think you have made your opinion fairly clear on this project and this isn’t really helping add to the conversation. I am not taking this personally.
As previously mentioned if you can develop a good alternative project then I will try and add my support and help/time if I can.

21 Apr '18

This forum is intended for friendly collaboration.

We may not always agree, but when we disagree, we must avoid being disagreeable to each other.

This topic is about a choice of mural designs. @JMLF has made it clear that the mural is optional, and should the public decide to discontinue the project, it will be discontinued.

With this in mind, let’s focus on contributing to the range of ideas on offer, or alternatively, use our vote if we wish to prevent the project happening.

There is nothing to be gained by repeating the same personal opinion on this topic to the point where any one of us has posted more times than the organiser himself.

21 Apr '18

Hoardings are great painting spots IMO. They are temporary and provide great space for people to paint and have their work seen by lots of people. I’ve organised a few Hoarding paint jams in the past quite easily and invited artists to paint with great success.

I would like to make a point about the submissions for the wall in question too. This project had a final short list of four great submissions (I don’t know how many came in in total) An Artist has to read the brief, design the work, produce an image/artwork, price it, do risk assessment, think about logistics and health and safety all with no assurance that he/she will get the gig. Quite a lot of unpaid hours upfront. As it looks now nobody is going to paint it. My point is that for a smallish community we are lucky to have artists willing to take the time to produce a submission, because without them there would be no project.

21 Apr '18

Agree entirely.

And a finely balanced argument on the whole.

The downside for all of these fine people is that if a project does not attract the votes for its approval and then attract funding it does not happen.

21 Apr '18

I would like to apologise to the Forum and would have done so earlier today but have been at work.

In my last post I wrote:

‘I’m relieved to read that your idea cannot even now be further contemplated’.

So to clarify here, I meant the latest idea by Kate to use the grey hoarding on KFH’s premises by The Greyhound.

It’s a key area which has only recently been smartened up with the opening of the pub. And the hoarding is that awful composite wood (?name), so not a good surface area.

Exactly the type which attracts graffiti, which has already been removed some time ago.

And this idea reminded me of when SEE3 introduced graffiti to SE26 when the council were simultaneously removing it.

I also wrote:

'What’s the actual strategy? What’s this going to achieve?

I feel there is a lack of skill /experience around the idea.’

Again I was referring to the KFH hoarding idea.

I just felt this lacked insight: aesthetically, location wise, implementation etc

Almost only for the sake of getting Jon’s idea of a mural up.

Overall though, I found myself a bit more open to Jon’s mural idea - if for example it could take a more professional sign writing route.

As a local business owner, running nomadic art galleries, I’m always looking for empty retail spaces for short lets. High up on my criteria will be the appearance of the high street. For years now, I’ve kept thinking about opening a gallery in SE26 on the high street, but unfortunately I still don’t have the confidence to do so.

But if and when there is another mural meeting, then I’d like to come along if this is okay?

23 Apr '18

I find comments about lack of professionalism a little unfair. Yes this is a community project but the ideas submitted, to me at least, are professional. It comes down to whether you see graffiti-style muralists as having a craft over signwriters. They are all still professions, and ones that I very much respect.

We can critique the ideas subjectively but noone here is any more qualified to judge than anyone else. And we mustn’t dismiss people’s ideas under this pretence.

23 Apr '18

I agree Audrey, it’s extremely unfair. There are lots of professional illustrators, artists, architects, designers locally who have got involved and done something. Some of the work is great, like Lionel. Saying there is a lack of skill and expertise in about the mural is rather unfair to all involved. OSB board (the ‘awful ’ composite wood’) is fine to paint onto by the way. I used it at the Business Show in Excel earlier this year on my trade stand. It can look great.

I suggest that Joanne start another thread with her ideas and what she can contribute to the area. There is an art gallery in Sydenham that does well and I’m sure it can support another one. There is nothing stopping her. If you wait for Sydenham to turn into Dulwich Village you will be waiting a long, long time.

Back to the mural, what help do you need Jon? We are behind you.

23 Apr '18

Hi there, I did not mention ‘lack of professionalism’.

I’ve already tried to clarify my thoughts further and only referred to the KFH hoarding.

OSB is not a nice, ideal medium to paint on. It looks awful, cheap, temporary, makeshift, no matter what you do with it! Leaving it painted dark grey is the best option. Anyway it sounds as if it will be removed soon.

My understanding is that the mural would be a permanent feature. Therefore hoarding is not an appropriate solution. Have not mentioned ‘lack of skill and expertise’ to the overall mural idea itself.

Far from it really. I may not be a natural fan of murals, but since Jon’s idea, my eyes have been opened, my perspective has shifted and I’ve surprisingly found myself googling mural examples.

Plus out of interest, discussing Jon’s idea with others. He has engaged me and many others, that’s very positive.

As long as I approach the discussion, concept in a well reasoned, fair way, if I am against a particular angle, aspect, then I don’t think this should be taken personally by anyone.

When someone raises concerns, objections - it can offer an opportunity to revisit, finely tune an idea.

However in SE26, a defensive reaction seems to be provoked.

Lee you suggest that I start another thread.

If I have an idea then I will do so.

Naturally I’m aware of the art gallery ‘The Lovely Gallery’ located towards Lower Sydenham. It has a great reputation, but they only appear to open irregularly around specific events. So that formula must work well for them.

If though I decided to open up a gallery in SE26, I’d find a central location and open say 5 days weekly. Most likely a short let to test the water first.

There are a few factors why I’ve not done this to date. And one very key one is that I would need to change our art collection considerably to suit the location, for us to be successful. Here’s our Instagram link:

Otherwise we’d end up being a destination shop/gallery. If there was a cluster of other independent retailers, then that would help matters. Otherwise, currently people won’t be thinking, ‘Oh let’s make a trip to SE26, spend the afternoon shopping there’.

Can be Catch 22:

It does of course require an independent retailer to make the first move, get the ball rolling too.

I’m not completely against doing so either.

We are a very community orientated business and if I could open in SE26 where I’ve lived for many years, then I’d have an opportunity to contribute, be involved locally. I’d really enjoy that.

23 Apr '18

Let’s steer this conversation back toward mural designs, folks.

9 May '18

Hi all.
If we clear the decks on this with a fresh perspective and re-start with a few location options that are green light and able to be painted, then I think we will find there are really only one or two locations worthy of a hallmark project.

The process needs to be centered and as simple as possible once the sites have been narrowed down.

I think a meeting should be set that determines process.

My feeling also is that it could combine all artists and not be set up as a winner takes all competition. All participants could be winners and that really would be a community statement.

Just a couple of ground level notions for all.


9 May '18

Thanks John - yep I usually mark up layouts as drafts but assumed as I was originally directed to simply post the submission onto this roll, that my artwork was in the pot.

9 May '18

Sounds like a great idea.

11 May '18

Hello JMLF I would like to ask you if you do murals Also for private individual ?

11 May '18

If not, sounds like a nice potential side-line for Jon, linking street artists and private landowners :wink:

(although he’s probably done enough mural organising to last a lifetime!)