The Mural Designs!



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.



I like the 3rd and 4th.


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.


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.


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



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.


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”


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!


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?


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.


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


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.


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


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:


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.


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.


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,



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?


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.


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!