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Deptford: where murals are part of the furniture

Deptford is a vibrant area, full of culture and arts. The up and coming hub situated in south London is brimming with creatives, from musicians to artists and their creative spirit runs through the streets of Deptford giving the area that soul vibe so many treasure.

When walking around Deptford, it’s hard to miss the murals that help bring these streets to life. These pieces of art showcase local artists’ inspirations, their talent and portray the heart of Deptford.

In light of this we take a look at murals that have transformed the streets of Deptford, from past, present and future…

Deptford Arena:

One of the newest murals to hit the streets of Deptford, Deptford Arena opened last November and is located on New Cross Road.

Deptford Arena created by Artmongers, has replaced a previous mural created by the same creative collective known as the Deptford Marbles. Deptford Marbles was unveiled in 2007 and was even featured in the New York Times! The mural stood as a reminder of time passing and how it changes everything humans build; the pillars were said to be reminiscent of Stonehenge.

The colour scheme of the new mural is the same as Deptford Marbles, a combination of blues and creams. The new mural was inspired by its location and encapsulates what the designers wanted to say about Deptford.

To find out more about Deptford Arena – read our Q&A with Patricio Forrester, Director of Artmongers.

Douglas Square: 

Created during the Deptford X Festival in 2011, the Douglas Square mural created by Peter Anderson replaced the earlier mural called Deptford Railway Yard, which was created by Christopher Ryland and Paul Pestidge in 1981 consisting of images of Deptford in 1840.

The current mural, Douglas Square is created from scaled up photographs taken in Deptford and New York. The photograms portray the playful icons and objects Anderson has collected from Deptford Market to represent the urban culture of the Deptford community.

His & Hers: 

The mural, designed and created by Patricio Forrester, Founder and Creative Director of Artmongers, has become an iconic part of Deptford’s culture.

Located along Deptford High Street the beautifully executed mural adorning the gable end of a Victorian terrace has often appeared in marketing collateral to promote the area of Deptford (including our own!)  

Originally created in 2002 for the Deptford X Festival this striking work in pink overlooking Deptford Market, has become a popular landmark in the up and coming artistic hotbed of Deptford and New Cross.

15 years after its original installation, His and Hers was restored thanks to a donation from us here at Anthology. To find out more about the restoration process, do take the time to read our blog.

Talking Walls: 

Situated opposite Peter Anderson’s mural (Douglas Square) is the Talking Walls. The piece was led by Goldsmith student, Tessa Lawer and consists of a series of brightly-coloured, hand-painted signs which appeared about Deptford and New Cross in 2011. 

Each mural has been painted by a different artist and the aim was to commemorate and preserve the dying industry of hand rendered sign writing.

Love Over Gold:

Love Over Gold mural, created in 1989 by Anthology Local Hero, Gary Drostle is hidden in the back streets of South East London, next to Deptford Creek. The piece is named after Dire Straits 1982 album, Love Over Gold. Several members of the band grew up in the local area and performed their first gig at a festival in Crossfields Estate, which is situated opposite the mural.

Gary worked with the local primary school children to create a mural that depicts the local area, and equal opportunities. The mural which combines the children’s artwork beautifully is a key part of Deptford’s identity and shows scenes of the local area, incorporating St Pauls church, the creek and the railway.

Gary talks a little more about the inspiration behind the piece in our Q&A with him. 

Pink Palace Mural: 

This is one of Deptford’s oldest murals, painted in 1983 by May Maquire, Alex Lech and Paul Pestige along with residents of the Crossfields Estate which is situated opposite the piece.

The mural was commissioned to decorate the entrance to the Crossfield Tenants and Residents Association and depicts everyday activities such as hanging out the washing.

As you can see, Deptford is full of intriguing murals illustrating Deptford’s creative heart across the years. Whilst Deptford has more murals than most locations, we expect there are more to come in the not so distant future… 

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